2020 International Hydrogen Conference has been announced

Posted on July 30, 2018 by Sandra Gonzalez.

While the organizers of the 2016 International Hydrogen Conference, I2CNER’s Hydrogen Materials Compatibility Division Lead PI, Dr. Brian Somerday, and I2CNER’s Director, Professor Petros Sofronis, have stepped down from their organizational duties, they are pleased to announce that there is a plan to have another conference in 2020. The new organizers for the 2020 Hydrogen Conference are Dr. May Martin from NIST and Prof. Jimmy Burns from the University of Virginia.

The 2020 International Hydrogen Conference will be held at Jackson Lake Lodge September 13-16, 2020.  Please mark your calendars now!

Conference website: http://conferences.illinois.edu/hydrogen/

2016 International Hydrogen Conference Call for Abstracts is OPEN!

Posted on September 22, 2015 by redden1@illinois.edu.


The website for the 2016 International Hydrogen Conference is now active. Please visit the website (http://conferences.illinois.edu/hydrogen2016) to find more details about the 2016 conference.

In tandem with the website going live, the abstract submission form is now also live. Abstracts which focus on the following topics are encouraged:


  • Effects of hydrogen environments on mechanical properties of materials (e.g., deformation, wear, fatigue, fracture)
  • Fracture mechanisms in hydrogen environments
  • Hydrogen-deformation interaction mechanisms
  • Hydrogen interactions with defects
  • Hydrogen dissolution, diffusion, and trapping in materials
  • Hydrogen-induced phase transformations and their effect on mechanical properties
  • Design and life prediction of structures in hydrogen environments
  • Hydrogen effects on polymers
  • Hydrogen effects on tribo-interfaces
  • Effects of hydrogen isotopes and helium on materials
  • Modeling of hydrogen-materials interactions, including finite element, ab initio, and molecular dynamics methods


The abstract deadline will be January 15, 2016. Please visit the conference website (http://conferences.illinois.edu/hydrogen2016) to download the abstract template.


2016 International Hydrogen Conference has been announced

Posted on January 30, 2014 by redden1@illinois.edu.

The organizers of the 2012 International Hydrogen Conference, I2CNER Hydrogen Materials Compatibility Division Lead PI, Dr. Brian Somerday and I2CNER Director Professor Petros Sofronis, have announced that they plan to host another conference in 2016.

The 2016 International Hydrogen Conference will be held at Jackson Lake Lodge September 11-14, 2016.  Please mark your calendars now!

Conference website: http://conferences.illinois.edu/hydrogen2016

I²CNER to Host joint January symposium

Posted on December 9, 2013 by redden1@illinois.edu.

On January 30-31, 2014, I2CNER will host the “I2CNER & ACT-C Joint Symposium” on Advanced Molecular Transformations for a Sustainable Energy Future and the “I2CNER & ACT-C Joint Workshop” on Kyushu University’s Ito Campus.  For more information, please click here.

I²CNER Catalytic Concepts Symposium was a success

Posted on November 11, 2013 by redden1@illinois.edu.

The I2CNER Catalytic Concepts for Energy Symposium was held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) on Friday, September 13, 2013. The symposium featured a diverse group of both national and international researchers specializing in catalysis issues.  The topics covered included proton, oxygen, nitrate, and carbon dioxide reduction; non-platinum metal electrodes for catalysis; alloys and composite materials for catalysis; mass spectrometry; and electrochemical methods.

In the keynote lecture, Prof. Fraser Armstrong, University of Oxford, emphasized the importance of biomimetic concepts for catalysis issues.  The invited speakers included Dr. Vojislav Stamenkovic, Argonne National Laboratory; Prof. Naotoshi Nakashima, Kyushu University; Prof. Aleksandar Staykov, Kyushu University; Prof. Tom Jaramillo, Stanford University; Dr. Etsuko Fujita, Brookhaven National Laboratory; Prof. Dan Scherson, Case Western Reserve University;  Prof. Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, UIUC; and Prof. Takahiro Matsumoto, Kyushu University.  The symposium was attended by many University of Illinois faculty and students, most notably, the Dean of the College of Engineering, Prof. Andreas Cangellaris, who gave remarks before the start of the afternoon session.

Not only did the Catalytic Concepts for Energy Symposium introduce I2CNER as a stakeholder in the field of catalysis to some of the experts in the field and vice versa, it also allowed all participants a unique opportunity to interface and explore possible new research directions.  In particular, the I2CNER hosts have reported that they used this event like a think tank to brainstorm about I2CNER’s present and future research efforts on catalysis.  I2CNER Director Petros Sofronis stated that the event was “an overall success.”

The symposium was sponsored by the I2CNER Satellite and organized by Prof. Tom Rauchfuss, Chemistry/I2CNER Satellite Faculty; Prof. Paul Kenis, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering/I2CNER Satellite Faculty; and Prof. Andy Gewirth, Chemistry/I2CNER Principal Investigator.

In light of the success of the symposium, the organizers are planning to “establish/carry on the tradition” by hosting a subsequent symposium on catalysis issues at the Kyushu University campus in Japan.

Strategic Research Initiative project awarded to I²CNER Satellite Researchers

Posted on June 12, 2013 by redden1@illinois.edu.

Professors Elif Ertekin, Lane Martin, and Angus Rockett of the Illinois Satellite of the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (WPI-I2CNER),  have been jointly awarded a two-year, early-stage project in the University of Illinois College of Engineering’s Strategic Research Initiatives program.

Their awarded proposal, entitled “Atomic-Scale Design of Oxide Heterojunctions for Energy Conversion,” aims to produce vastly improved photocatalysts for solar hydrogen production as well as energy-efficient environmental remediation by pursuing a transformative approach for designing and synthesizing oxide heterojunctions for photocatalytic (PC) energy conversion devices.  Their unique approach combines semiconductor defect engineering to control the concentration and lifetime of photostimulated charge carriers, semiconductor band engineering to control the flow of charge carriers within the photocatalyst, the use of “hot” carriers with greater than thermal energies, and atomic-scale modeling of the free surfaces and solid-solid interfaces to optimize atomic defect injection during synthesis and carrier flow during operation.  Much of the groundwork for the proposal for this project was laid through the ongoing work that Professors Ertekin, Martin, and Rockett carry out as part of the I2CNER project.

The Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) program was introduced by the College of Engineering in order to help grow the research program of the University of Illinois and support collaboration in new and emerging areas.  The long term goal of the program is to place Illinois in a leadership position within promising new and growing areas of engineering research.  The majority of the financial support for this program is provided by the College of Engineering.

Congratulations to Professors Ertekin, Martin, and Rockett on this outstanding achievement!

I²CNER Retreat with the External Advisory Committee (EAC) was held May 30-31, 2013 at UIUC Campus

Posted on May 28, 2013 by redden1@illinois.edu.

The I2CNER Satellite hosted a retreat with the External Advisory Committee (EAC) on Thursday and Friday, May 30 & 31, 2013 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.

Participants included faculty from Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, as well as Dr. Deborah Myers, Argonne National Laboratory; Dr. Kevin Ott, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Dr. Ronald Adrian, Arizona State University; Dr. Robert McMeeking, University of California, Santa Barbara; and Dr. Tetsuo Shoji, Tohoku University.

To download a copy of the agenda, click here.

I²CNER has new Facebook and Twitter pages

Posted on April 3, 2013 by redden1@illinois.edu.

I2CNER has launched pages on Facebook and Twitter!  Like us on Facebook and help us reach our goal of 200 likes.


To follow us on Twitter, use the following link:


I²CNER featured in Nature Article

Posted on April 1, 2013 by redden1@illinois.edu.

The International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) was recently featured in an article in Nature magazine called “Spotlight on Fukuoka.”  Follow the link below and click on the “Taking on the Hydrogen Challenge” tab to view the feature.


I²CNER in Tokyo Symposium was a roaring success

Posted on January 10, 2013 by redden1@illinois.edu.

International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research organized I²CNER in Tokyo Symposium “Japan-US Collaboration on Energy”

 I2CNER in Tokyo Header

The International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) organized the I²CNER in Tokyo Symposium at the National Center of Sciences in Tokyo on December 7, 2012.


The symposium was attended by approximately 150 guests, including several international participants, as well as special guests Mr. Daisuke Yoshida, Director-General, Research Promotion Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Dr. Toshio Kuroki, WPI Program Director, Ambassador John V. Roos, U.S. Embassy in Japan, and  Setsuo Arikawa, Kyushu University President, who each gave opening remarks.  Mr. Yoshida outlined how the WPI Program reflects and promotes the MEXT vision for education and research.   Dr. Kuroki presented a general overview of the WPI Program from its inception in 2007 through current day, emphasizing that the WPI Program is a new initiative designed to cultivate the fusion of scientific disciplines as a new approach to discovery and to promote conversation amongst young researchers.  Ambassador Roos stressed the importance of leveraging resources and scientific talent between the US and Japan to find 21st century energy solutions.  In particular, the Ambassador suggested that educational exchange of young scientists between the two countries would make future scientific collaborations more productive.  President Arikawa emphasized that Kyushu is committed to making I2CNER a successful example of its revitalization of the university research culture for the 21st century.


During the keynote speech, I2CNER Director Petros Sofronis emphasized that I2CNER is an international collaboration between Japan and the U.S., based at Kyushu University with a satellite at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I2CNER’s mission is to contribute to the creation of a sustainable and environmentally-friendly society by conducting fundamental research for the advancement of low carbon emission and cost effective energy systems, and improvement of energy efficiency.


Session 1 featured three topical lectures, the first of which was given by Dr. Katsuhiko Hirose, Project General Manager, R&D Management Division, TOYOTA Motor Corporation.  Dr. Hirose advised attendees that since the future of energy is unpredictable, innovation is the key to finding the solutions to energy problems.  In fact, Dr. Hirose drew a comparison between the present day and the Stone Age, pointing out that the Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stone, but because we found materials that were superior to stone.  Lead Principal Investigator Kazunari Sasaki, Fuel Cells Research Division, I2CNER, Kyushu University, outlined the current status and the future research directions of I2CNER in the field of Fuel Cells.  Specifically, Professor Sasaki explained how Kyushu University advances next generation fuel cell concepts such as durability, efficiency, cost reduction, and new materials.  Satellite Associate Director Kenneth Christensen, I2CNER, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presented the ways in which I2CNER tackles the fundamental science that is needed to develop safe CO2 storage technologies and monitor and predict the long-term behavior of safely stored CO2.


Session 2 featured an invited lecture given by Dr. Monterey Gardiner, Technology Development Manager, Office of Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies, U.S. Department of Energy.  Dr. Gardiner spoke about the technology, economics, and infrastructure requirements underlying the introduction of fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles, and the commercialization of stationary fuel cells.  He issued a grand challenge to the energy stakeholders in attendance to support and conduct research to enable technology for a carbon-neutral society, such as efficient energy storage, harmonization of safety codes and standards, and materials issues.


Following Sessions 1 and 2, a panel discussion was held, which involved open scientific debate between the lecturers and the audience.  The panel discussion was moderated by WPI Visiting Professor Mark Paster, Energy Analysis Research Division, I2CNER, Kyushu University.  Topics covered in the panel discussion included the role of society/individuals in energy conservation, infrastructure vs. commercialization of fuel cell vehicles (the chicken or the egg problem), safety of fuel cell technologies, dissemination of information to the public, and international regulation of emerging technologies in consideration of differing interests in developing countries.


In his closing remarks, Professor Nobuhide Kasagi, WPI Program Officer, stated that although the future of energy is uncertain and predictions are very difficult to make, we need to develop a scenario on how we can establish optimum energy solution pathways.  Professor Kasagi also prompted the scientific community and I2CNER researchers in particular to try to challenge the unyielding problems involved in the realization of a carbon-neutral energy society.  Professor Kasagi stressed the importance of fostering the US-Japan collaboration on research and development for energy and sustainability, suggesting that not only both countries, but also our “human-dominated planet” stand to gain from this relationship.