Energy and Environmental Sciences
Universities have a unique role to play in scientific discoveries and innovative applications in the fields of energy and environmental sciences. The University of Mississippi contributes to these fields through a variety of capabilities and programs such as the utilization of composites in power and communication transmission facilities, exploration of gas hydrates as a potential alternative energy source, and the conversion of solar energy into more readily usable energy forms.
Related Research Programs, Centers, and Institutes:
Environmental Toxicology Research Program in the School Pharmacy conducts research and educational activities that seek to identify and resolve problems related to environmental health issues. It is the goal of the program to contribute information that will allow economic growth to occur in a climate of quality, cost-effective health services and ecologically meaningful environmental stewardship.
Mississippi Mineral Resources Institute (MMRI) provides the public and private sectors with expertise needed to make responsible decisions regarding Mississippi’s and the nation’s mineral resources and environmental well-being. MMRI conducts geospatial analyses and data processing for offshore and on-shore energy exploration and production and environmental analysis and monitoring, uses remote sensing to monitor energy production and distribution and oil spills and their effects, analyzes and explores the potential of gas hydrates as an alternative energy source and the hazards related to gas hydrates in the deep Gulf of Mexico, and explores new energy reserves in MS. MMRI has compiled extensive (70,000+) Mississippi gas and oil well log data free for use by researchers, geologists, energy companies, and others interested in Mississippi’s energy resources.
Renewable Energy Research Lab in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is primarily interested in converting solar energy into more readily usable energy forms. The Lab has two main focuses for accomplishing this goal: 1) generation of electrical energy and 2) generation of chemical energy. The Lab aims to broaden the strategies used in designing organic light harvesting materials for dye-sensitized solar cells and organic photovoltaics.
National Center for Physical Acoustics (NCPA) specializes in basic and applied research in the area of physical acoustics. Wind energy production is enhanced through research and discovery related to atmospheric turbulence and aerodynamic optimization. The ultrasound group is focused on energy and biomedical research including ultrasonic techniques to enhance/enable chemical processing.
National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering (NCCHE) fosters the development of new research and engineering tools, computational simulation models for conducting scientific research, engineering analysis and design, and environmental and ecological impact assessments in the area of natural resources (soil and water) conservation. NCCHE activities include predicting impact of flooding on energy infrastructure; predicting the transport and fate of waste & chemicals from energy development activities; analyzing the safety of deep-water gas drilling under high pressure and low temperature; and predicting regional climate changes related to future energy production.
The Nano Infrastructure Research Group (NIRG) focuses on the utilization of nano particles such as carbon nanotube, nanowire, nanoclay, graphite and glass platelets, and flyash, for reinforcing polymers and concrete to make nanocomposites. These composites are applied to the protection of infrastructures (buildings, bridges, tunnels, pipelines, ports, levees and floodwalls, power and communication transmission facilities) against all kinds of natural hazards and terrorist threats, including blast, impact, earthquakes, hurricanes, fire, corrosion, and fatigue collapse. NIRG researchers have the knowledge, skills, and ability to readily design and develop nanoparticle enhanced and other advanced nano composites for civil infrastructure, survivability and homeland security applications such as designing the next generation of sustainable, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient structures.
The Natural Resources and Environmental Health Program in the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) seeks to understand aspects of the environment that affect sourcing and sustainability of natural resources for natural product development, and assess environmental health and its implications for ecosystem services. In recent years, natural and anthropogenic stressors have had significant impacts on the health of our environment. NCNPR and affiliated faculty have taken a leadership role in the assessment of these perturbations, and in the remediation of impacted communities.
Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program (MASGLP) enhances the sustainable use and conservation of ocean and coastal resources to benefit the economy and environment in Alabama and Mississippi. Legal Program attorneys contribute to the field of ocean and coastal law and policy through the analysis of current issues and the publication of their research results. MASGLP provides legal research and outreach on issues such as public access and zoning; provides legal research and outreach on laws and regulations addressing habitat restoration and ecosystem based management; provides legal research on issues such as emergency response and land use planning; and provides legal research and outreach on laws and regulations related to fishery management and aquaculture.