U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz Visits UT Austin

On Thursday, Feb. 6, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz visited with students and community members at UT Austin.

Academic institutions such as The University of Texas at Austin serve an essential role in furthering scientific research that can help drive the commercialization of transformative products and services, said U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz during a visit to Austin on Thursday.

Ernest Moniz on campus

Photo by Marsha Miller, The University of Texas at Austin

Throughout his visit, Moniz touted an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, specifically efforts to promote investment in innovation and advanced manufacturing in the United States. He characterized The University of Texas at Austin as a leader in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

“UT Austin has grown into a research and teaching powerhouse, both educating the next generation of scientists and engineers and helping to drive cutting-edge research and innovation,” Moniz said during a speech on campus. “The Department of Energy is proud to partner with the university on more than $20 million of research each year.”

Moniz met privately with graduate students involved in a variety of energy-related research projects, including 22 Cockrell School of Engineering students, and he toured the university’s Visualization Laboratory (Vislab), operated by the Texas Advanced Computing Center. The Vislab features a large cluster of 30-inch monitors that are among the highest-resolution tiled displays in the world. The Vislab also serves as a research hub for human-computer interaction, tiled display software development and visualization consulting.

Thomas F. Edgar, a chemical engineering professor and director of the university’s Energy Institute, cited the importance of public-private collaborations in fostering the commercialization of scientific research.

“The DOE has been a strong supporter of energy research at this university, as well as of the private-public partnerships that further innovation and advanced manufacturing and clean energy initiatives,” Edgar said.

Watch the video of Sec. Moniz's speech below.