UH Energy launches program to unite leaders in energy fields

UH Energy recently launched new program, UH Energy Fellows, which is a collaboration of faculty and students from nine different colleges and various energy disciplines. Their goal is to form a diverse conversation on energy for UH community.

Stephanie Coates, the executive administrative assistant of UH Energy, said the program was created because Chief Energy Officer Ramanan Krishnamoorti wanted a way to display professors across various colleges as leaders in their area of energy related research.

According to UH Energy, 10 experts from various aspects of energy are involved in the group. One appointed Fellow, Andrew Hamilton, is the associate dean for student success and director of the UH Bonner Leaders Program. He said his interests and specialties for this program are in the area of sustainability as it relates to energy.

I’m also looking forward to putting together new programs for students, as well as developing the ones we have,” Hamilton said.

UH Energy’s website explains one of the ways to start this conversation is through a new UH Energy blog that Fellows will contribute to during the semester. Coates said the website creates an informal way for these professors to talk about aspects of energy that would not necessarily be suitable for an academic journal.

Hamilton said he has already made a post to the blog about changing the educational core to match the core facts about 21st century existence.

UH has appointed two chemical engineering students, Alex Pankiewicz and Nairah Hashmi, for the Energy Fellows program this semester. Both students are part of a group of 14 elected student energy ambassadors for UH Energy.

Pankiewicz said the blog is a casual way to bring different aspects of energy to one place in a way that is appealing and understandable to everyone.

“(We’re trying) to expose the students and professors to what’s going on in energy across all disciplines and make it relatable to the reader,” Pankiewicz said.

Pankiewicz said his role as a Fellow is to help create awareness and publicity for the different aspects of energy by holding events, networking with industry representatives, contributing to the UH Energy blog and adding content to this semester’s newsletter.

“There aren’t many people in UH Energy that have the chemical engineering background, so I would like to give it more spotlight,” Pankiewicz said. “It’s a really underrepresented part of energy.”

Hamilton hopes to have broad and expansive conversations about the future of energy, specifically sustainable energy and Houston’s role in it.  

“I also hope that we use it to build opportunities for students to do engaging academic work.”

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