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Advancing Sustainability through Research In addition to integrating sustainability concepts and thinking throughout the University’s curriculum, UT Arlington believes in the power of research, innovation, and development to help solve society’s most pressing problems. The University’s goal to become a Tier One research institution aligns with our sustainability commitment. With research centers in every discipline, UT Arlington offers a rich environment exploring complex environmental, social, and economic issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, inequality, and environmental economics. The following research initiatives—which are dedicated to clean energy and the environment, advanced materials, green manufacturing, and ecology—highlight some of the key sustainability work under way at UT Arlington.
The Center for Renewable Energy Science and Technology (CREST) serves as a center of excellence in energy research and development in the state of Texas. CREST coordinates energyrelated research and development across multidisciplinary faculty research teams and partners with national laboratories, the Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology, and the Arlington Technology Incubator to facilitate technology transfer and commercialization of new energy technologies. CREST research supports all aspects of the new energy economy, including smart- and micro-grids; energy conversion and storage technologies; fuel and solar cells; and clean, renewable energy generated from biomass, hydrogen, wind, solar, hydrology, and tides.
The UT Arlington Research Institute (UTARI), formerly known as the Automation and Robotics Research Institute, is undergoing a transformation to become a global research and development leader by 2022. UTARI’s research focus is on energy, water, and the environment. A state-of- the-art energy and environment laboratory will help develop solutions for energy storage and conversion, environment and water monitoring, and environmentally friendly manufacturing by using advanced system technologies.
UT Arlington researchers are working to reduce the nation’s reliance on oil-based fuels through research projects that include work on new alkaline polymer fuel cells to better power electric cars; development of a portable conversion unit that can transform natural gas to a clean-burning synthetic fuel; and testing new batteries for the U.S. Navy for their ability to hold a charge.
The Center for Nanostructured Materials (CNM) is a highly collaborative research center, which brings together physicists, chemists, biologists, and materials scientists and integrates both the basic and applied sciences in nanotechnology. The CNM supports interdisciplinary research into areas such as magnetic nanoparticles; nanotechnology for luminescent, thin film; electrically conductive and light-emitting optical polymers; and thin film flow devices and sensors, all of which have applications for sustainable technologies.
Experts at the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC) work with commercial manufacturers to help develop their workforce and improve their operations in order to compete on a global scale. A TMAC focus on “lean and green” manufacturing consultation and deployment assists manufacturing firms with reducing the environmental impacts of their manufacturing processes, while achieving cost savings.
The Ecology Research Group is a multidisciplinary research group that studies plant, aquatic, and microbial ecology; biogeography; evolution and systematics; physiological and statistical ecology; speciation; and herpetology. The Center for Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research, one of the largest herpetology collections in the nation, attracts researchers from around the world and promotes a better understanding of global herpetological diversity.