A trio of faculty working for renewable energy has been named the recipient of the Outstanding Cross-Disciplinary Team Research Award. They will be honored on Founders Day on Thursday, February 18.

image of cross-disciplinary researchers

David Loomis, Jin Jo and Matt Aldeman

David Loomis, Jin Jo, and Matt Aldeman have been collaborating on a wide range of renewable and next-generation energy research issues since 2010. The three team members hail from two academic departments, two colleges, and one interdisciplinary center on campus.

Professor of Economics David Loomis serves as the director of the Illinois State University Center for Renewable Energy. He leads the Illinois Wind Working Group under the U.S. Department of Energy. Loomis also serves as director of the Energy Learning Exchange, one of nine career pathways in the Illinois State Board of Education’s Illinois Pathways Initiative. He is a member of the ISU Million Dollar Club, after having successfully secured grant funding in excess of $1 million.

Assistant Professor of Technology Jin Jo teaches in the Renewable Energy program. His research has appeared in journals such as Energy Policy, Renewable Energy, Habitat International, and Building & Environment. Jo has partnered with various national and international governmental organizations to examine the technical, economic, and environmental impacts of sustainable and renewable energy system implementations. He earned the nation’s first Ph.D. in sustainability while at Arizona State University.

Assistant Professor of Technology Matt Aldeman also teaches in the Renewable Energy program. Prior to August 2015, Aldeman served as the senior energy analyst in Illinois State’s Center for Renewable Energy, where he conducted renewable energy systems research and provided educational programming. Prior to joining Illinois State, he worked for General Electric as a wind farm site manager. Aldeman is a member of the University’s Million Dollar Club. He is nearing completion of his Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Working together, the team’s ambitious research agenda addresses the technical potential for renewable energy integration into the U.S. electric grid, and the economic benefits.

Loomis, Jo, and Aldeman jointly conducted a series of increasingly complex renewable energy integration studies. The studies explored the potential of solar and wind energy generation within the state of Illinois, and will soon focus on alternative energy storage on the electric grid. This research agenda has resulted in publications in highly-regarded, peer-reviewed journals with international readership and speaking engagements across the world.

The team has also pursued an outreach and educational agenda to assist elected officials, students, teachers, corporations, and the general public as they learn about renewable energy alternatives. Through their work and collaborations with state agencies, the University has helped train teachers through the Smart Grid for Schools and the Illinois Solar for School program. The team also worked toward bringing an understanding of Next Generation Science Standards, and even collaborated with the Korean Energy Management Corporation to lead renewable energy workshops for Korean dignitaries.