News Release

For immediate use:

Nov. 13, 2007

Media Contacts:          Lisa Bistreich (RTI International) 919/316-3596
                                 Clinton Colmenares (UNC at Chapel Hill) 919/843-1991
                                 Keith Lawrence (Duke) 919/681-8059
                                 Keith Nichols (NC State) 919/515-7159


Triangle Universities, RTI International Join to Form Energy Consortium

Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and RTI International have joined to form the Research Triangle Energy Consortium (RTEC), combining their research strengths to focus on “solving the technical, environmental, economic, societal, and public policy problems related to the use of energy,” according to the operating agreement.

“We can do things together that we cannot do individually,” said David Myers, vice president of engineering and technology at RTI International. “By combining our strengths in energy research, we can tackle the most complex energy problems.”

RTEC will hold its first event Nov.14-15. The RTEC Sustainable Energy Symposium at the RTP Hilton will bring together researchers from across the Triangle along with several industry representatives to share results, debate the major energy issues, identify promising research areas, and establish collaborations.

“Energy has become one of our most challenging issues, cutting across a wide range of societal challenges and academic and research disciplines,” said John Gilligan, vice chancellor for research at NC State. “The Research Triangle area has an international reputation for research and collaboration. We’re in position to deliver some high-impact energy solutions.”

“Combining the strengths of UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, NC State and RTI gives us a much greater ability to conduct energy-related research and find new solutions to problems that threaten our environment, our economy and our way of life,” said Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research and economic development at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Duke Provost Peter Lange added, “Each partner brings distinctive research and policy capabilities and the whole contribution will be far greater than would be possible
from simply working individually on the major scientific, technological, political and policy issues that energy represents.”

The formal agreement among the group recognizes that “the community of scientists, engineers, economists, and other disciplines in the Research Triangle region represents a broad spectrum of institutions, skills sets, and research interests.” 

Specifically, RTEC will work to:

“Already, through the initial phases of establishing RTEC, we have succeeded in documenting the breadth of research capabilities, interests and aspirations at the member institutions,” Myers said. “If nothing else, this understanding will enable us to develop more effective joint proposals for energy research projects.