Pictures (from left): MAE Professor Hu, Professor Lavine, UCLA undergraduate student Susan Su from Prof Hu’s lab (H-Lab: working on energy harvesting device that powers up the LEDs with a display of UCLA.

UCLA MAE Professors Yongjie Hu and Adrienne Lavine are part of a research team awarded a competitive research grant as part of UCLA’s Sustainable LA Grand Challenge. Profs. Bruce Dunn (Materials Science) and J.R. DeShazo (Public Policy) are the other members of the research team.

“We are grateful to the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge and the Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation, who allow us to bring together the team of experts from different backgrounds. This is a good opportunity to push for real interdisciplinary innovation by integrating energy conversion and storage systems. It’s a very exciting starting point and we are aiming for big things,” said Hu, the Principal Investigator (PI). The team is developing a novel and high-efficiency integrated solar and thermal energy system to increase energy generation and availability into the L.A. electricity market.

“Yongjie had the idea to integrate three different innovations in order to create a solar energy system that will be more efficient than ever before and will incorporate storage to make baseload solar energy a reality,” said Professor Adrienne Lavine, Co-PI of the team.

“The integration of multiple, energy-based technologies is rarely attempted. We are fortunate that the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge is enabling us to demonstrate this exciting approach,” said Professor Bruce Dunn.

The UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge awarded its second round of competitive research grants this month, providing $1 million to eight new projects led by UCLA researchers who will study self-driving cars, improve ways to capture and distribute solar power, map wild mammals in urban L.A., and more.

The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge is a university-wide research initiative to transition the Los Angeles region to 100 percent renewable energy, 100 percent local water, and an enhanced ecosystem and human health by 2050. This second annual round of research grants awarded by Sustainable LA focuses on renewable energy, transportation and urban ecosystems.

View of downtown Los Angeles from the hillside overlooking the Hollywood Bowl.
View of downtown Los Angeles from the hillside overlooking the Hollywood Bowl. Credit: Mark Esguerra

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