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A trio of UT Knoxville research leaders representing expertise in sustainability, energy resilience, and energy and environmental justice are building connections around the globe to collaborate with researchers for renewable energy, green energy, and a better environmental future for all.

 The United States and Japan have long partnered as a powerful team to for problem-solving through interdisciplinary strategies and solutions—including sharing a vision for promoting clean energy and combat climate change and decarbonization. The newly minted US-Japan Exchange Program for Green Growth Collaboration through Clean Energy Technologies (EXCET) will take on these issues in a combined approach.

 Leading EXCET for UT are Mingzhou Jin, Chien-fei Chen, and Keven Tomsovic. They will work with professors Yasuhiro Hayashi and Hideo Ishii of Japan’s Waseda University, and Assistant Professor Shinya Yoshizawa and Associate Professor Yohei Yamaguchi of Osaka University.

 “The EXCET program will expand and deepen UT’s long-term partnership with Japanese Universities,” said Gretchen Neisler, UT Vice Provost for International Affairs and Director of the Center for Global Engagement. “The focus on promoting clean energy transitions for climate change and social justice, is timely and of significant priority for UT and our Japanese partners. We are thrilled to receive support from the State Department for this work.”

Principal investigator (PI) Jin is a professor and head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, and director of UT’s Institute for Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE).

 Chen, co-PI, is a research associate professor and director of energy and environmental justice at ISSE. She has led many interdisciplinary projects focusing on social justice and worked closely with Japanese researchers on topics about building sustainability and green energy technology.

 Tomsovic, also co-PI, is a professor in electrical engineering and director of the Center for Ultra-Wide Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission (CURENT). He co-hosted the 2015 JST-NSF-DFT-RCN Workshop, which was supported by Japan Science Technology (JST) and the US National Science Foundation. More than 40 Japanese researchers and practitioners in power systems attended the workshop.

 Hayashi and Ishii specialize in energy management, multi-energy networks, and clean energy and have led large-scale projects on research about sustainable energy at Waseda. Yoshizawa studies the functioning of power systems and Yamaguchi focuses on sustainable energy and urban energy system.

 The EXCET team members and their partners will continue to grow the collaboration, addressing both countries’ barriers, strategies, points of view, and strengths from different backgrounds. The long-term collaboration can serve as a model to support and connect faculty at UT and Japanese universities—an ongoing exchange to share intercultural and interdisciplinary perspectives for solutions in decarburization, sustainability, and clean energy.