Future Strategic Research Opportunities


December 16, 2021 || 1:00-4:30pm, reception following || In-Person Event

Engineering Centers Building – ECB 1003 (Tong Auditorium)

Registration:      Although online registration has closed, please contact Peggy Sullivan at peggy.sullivan@wisc.edu if you still would like to attend. Alternatively, in-person registration at the event can be accomodated!

Goal:       Identify opportunities on clean energy technologies in which UW-Madison could lead multi-disciplinary research initiatives

Who:       UW-Madison Researchers

Why:       Position UW-Madison to contribute to restoring U.S. leadership in key technology sectors

How:       Early action plan yielding identification of promising leadership areas and formation of task forces building proposal coalitions

Where:   Engineering Centers Building – ECB 1003 (Tong Auditorium)


Introduction of Workshop & Materials

1:10 -1:30

Welcome Remarks and information about recent Clean Energy Opportunities in Federal Funding

Ian Robertson, Grainger Dean of the College of Engineering


State Perspective from Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Sam Rikkers, COO and Deputy Secretary of the WEDC


Case study from the Build Back Better Regional Competition

Chris Kozina, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Industry Engagement, & Kieran Furlong, WARF


America Achieves perspective on Build Back Better opportunities

Jon Schnur, CEO for America Achieves


Activity to Identify Clean Energy Themes

Led by: Oliver Schmitz, Associate Dean, College of Engineering, and Dan Thoma, Director of the Grainger Institute for Engineering

  • Identify internal and external researchers
  • Identify partnerships with Industry, minority-serving institutions, and marginalized communities
  • Identify ways UW-Madison can be positioned to respond to funding opportunities

Faculty Elevator Pitches on Clean Energy R&D

Required pre-registration


Breakout Activity: Exchange forum to discuss presentations and identify needs

  • What clean energy themes do we identify?
  • How would you address building a proposal for a $10M or $100M funding opportunity in that theme?
  • What resources do you need to be successful?
  • Are there any new approaches your team can identify?

Large Group Discussion: Sharing needs identified during breakouts

  • Building coalitions that can compete – is a wholistic approach necessary?
  • Assemble task forces that build coalitions for each topic and define actions
  • Identify the support type and level needed from campus and the schools/colleges

Next steps discussion

Led by: Oliver Schmitz, Associate Dean, College of Engineering, and Dan Thoma, Director of the Grainger Institute for Engineering

  • Needs assessments and plan forward to build coalitions
  • Propose timeline & agree on follow-up with each group
  • Resource request process

Adjourn for Team Networking & Reception

Event Information

Event format

  • This live in-person event will not be recorded
  • Q&A with presenters will follow each presentation
  • Activities to engage the audience and lead to idea incubation


  • Faculty experts will provide contact information for further engagement
  • Submit questions at any time during the presentations
  • Discussion of needs/resources

Register for this event!

Please feel free to contact Peggy Sullivan at Peggy.Sullivan@wisc.edu for registration or register on-site.