Author: Wick Eisenberg
Governor Wes Moore shakes hands with Benjamin Schafer surrounded by Hopkins faculty in a convention booth.

Leading energy researchers from the Whiting School of Engineering and its Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy Institute (ROSEI) met with Maryland Governor Wes Moore ’21 during the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit (ARPA-E Summit), held March 22 through 24 in National Harbor, Maryland. Moore and the energy experts discussed a wide range of topics related to sustainable energy and its future in Maryland.

“It was a great opportunity to not only meet the governor, but also to have an in-depth discussion with him about sustainable energy and how ROSEI can help with his goals for Maryland,” said Ben Schafer, ROSEI’s director. “One of our aims is for ROSEI to become a major player in the sustainable energy scene. Our meeting with Governor Moore was really encouraging, and we plan to have many more like it in the future.”

Discussions with the governor touched on:

  • ROSEI’s four research pillars: carbon, grid, storage, and wind
  • Building out entrepreneurship opportunities and careers in clean energy
  • ROSEI’s SEE program, a four-week summer program for high school students to learn about sustainable energy engineering.
  • Climate targets for Maryland, as well as for Hopkins and ROSEI
  • Climate justice

Ben Link, ROSEI’s managing director, and Chao Wang, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and a ROSEI core faculty member, also joined Moore in the group discussion hosted by the Maryland Clean Energy Center focused on making Maryland a premier state for sustainable energy startups.

“The city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland have all the critical ingredients needed to become a major hub for climate tech, with a particular focus on making sustainable energy equitably accessible to the public,” Link said. “Our city and state are blessed with world-class universities, a highly trained workforce, and an entrepreneurial spirit focused on solving the biggest societal challenges. The opportunity is here, now. It’s our job to work together across institutions and sectors to bring it all together and build the ecosystem.”

Getting to interact with Moore was one of many highlights for ROSEI at the ARPA-E Summit. The Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) and ROSEI were the lone platinum sponsors for the event, and the group decided to make a splash by constructing a large exhibit outfitted with multiple TVs, interactive iPads with information about ROSEI, and much more. It was also an excellent networking opportunity for the contingent of ROSEI faculty, who were able to speak with both government officials and companies.

“It was our first time going to an event like this as an institute, and it went extremely well,” Schafer said. “One of our goals was to announce JHU to the energy community as a desirable collaboration partner and I think we did a really good job of it. It looks like we have several relationships that were established at the Summit that we’ll continue to grow in the next few months. We’re already looking forward to next year’s Summit in Dallas!”