Bosch Energy Research Network Grant Program
Grant Program
2011 BERN Research Grant Awards 
In 2011 Bosch awarded its first round of research grants totaling nearly $1 million, strengthening its long-standing investment in the development of energy-efficient technologies, as well as its support of leading U.S. universities.  After a competitive grant selection process in 2011, the Bosch Energy Research Network (BERN) has awarded seven grants to researchers at five leading U.S. universities, providing seed funding for cutting-edge energy research.  As announced during the company's 125th anniversary year, Bosch is investing more than $10 million over eight years to support universities and energy research in North America.

First-round proposals were invited from five institutions: California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, and University of Michigan.  After a two-stage selection process from a pool of 121 initial white papers, Bosch selected seven proposals to receive two-year grants of up to $150,000 per year on topics of energy conversion, energy storage, and energy usage efficiency.  Proposals were evaluated on both technical merit and potential impact in the global energy landscape.  Awards were made to the projects below. 


Thermal Conductivity Spectroscopy Using Ultrafast Pump-Probe Techniques for Thermoelectric Energy Conversion investigates the way heat propagates in thermoelectric materials sable for directly converting heat into electricity.  The project involves development of new ways of using lasers to detect thermal processes on the nanoscale with unprecedented accuracy.  Professor Austin Minnich, California Institute of Techoloy, Principal Investigator.


Nanostructured Sulfur Electrode for Next-Generation Lithium Cell aims to overcome performance and cycle-life limitations in high-energy lithium sulfur batteries through the development of novel electrode structures and electrolytes.  Professor Elton Cairns, University of California at Berkeley, Principal Investigator.


Multi-Scale Modeling of Li-Air Batteries seeks to better understand and enable a future energy storage technology that could provide electric vehicles with driving ranges equivalent to that of combustion-powered vehicles, at costs matching that of the US Department of Energy's long-term goals.  Professors Donald Siegel and Charles Monroe, University of Michigan, Principal Investigators.


Illuminated Semiconductor Thermionic Energy Converters for Low-Temperature Heat Harvesting Application utilizes sophisticated micro-electromechanical machining techniques to develop solid-state devices without moving parts  that convert heat directly into electricity.  One of the major applications of the device is its function as an add-on topping cycle for concentrated solar power stations, thereby increasing their efficiency, and driving their cost down to below current grid-parity levels. Professor Roger Howe, Stanford University, Principal Investigator.


Coordinated Aggregation of Distributed Resources for Smart Grid develops architecture and control methods to efficiently manage the future electricity grid, addressing the challenge of increased variability from renewable sources.  This will be done by clustering many small, independent units so that they can be controlled in a coherent manner, transforming them into active resources for electric grid management. Professors Kameshwar Poolla and Duncan Calloway, University of California at Berkeley, Principal Investigators. 


Brushless, Self-Excited Synchronous Field-Winding Machine seeks to develop low-cost, high-performance electric motor technology that utilizes exclusively earth-abundant materials.  Professor Heath Hofmann, University of Michigan, Principal Investigator.


Band-Structure Designed Photovoltaic Materials aims to develop high-efficiency solar cells basd on earth-abundant material with tailored band structures. Professor Tonio Buonassisi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Principal Investigator.
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