Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Global Energy Ecosystems



A strategic initiative to identify, align, and expand UT’s leadership in energy-related research, education and scholarship

In addition to a decades-long position as a leader in energy research, UT faculty have self-assembled in new energy-related areas of research, and education, with a goal to create a global energy ecosystem that both improves the quality of life and supports just, equitable, and sustainable energy transitions in industry, agriculture, and lived communities.

The Global Energy Ecosystems (GE2) initiative is just getting started, so stay tuned for more developments. If you are interested in partnering in GE2, please join our listserv by reaching out to Brad Day at

To grow an innovation ecosystem whose mission and impact improves the quality of life and supports just, equitable, and sustainable transitions in energy and the environment.

To catalyze and support cross-disciplinary collaborations that deliver solutions, train the next generation of scientists and educators, and which improve the quality of life, and supports just, equitable, and sustainable research and education innovations for energy and the environment.

The University of Tennessee is committed to making Life and Lives better. Together with local, regional, and global partners, we are unafraid to take on the greatest challenges facing the sustainability of the planet. As a diverse team of scholars, explorers, educators, and students, we inspire one another to reach higher than any of us could on our own.

Grand Challenges

With a strong commitment to advancing knowledge and innovation, UT has cultivated a distinguished group of researchers who lead the way in exploring energy solutions. Through collaborative efforts and pioneering research, UT’s community contribute to addressing pressing energy challenges, driving sustainable progress, and shaping a promising future.

Faculty span more than 25 academic departments across seven colleges to tackle the following grand challenges:

Icon of a globe
Revolutionizing smart recycling for energy technology systems, such as solar, wind, and battery technologies

Icon of a truck
Pioneering future fuels such as hydrogen adoption, generation, and storage

Graphic of three head and shoulders in orange and dark gray.
Creating just and sustainable energy systems

Icon of a book
Leading the way in energy education, policy, and communication for a sustainable future

Icon of a leaf with an outlet
Driving innovation in sustainable ecosystems and natural resource management for energy and climate solutions

Icon of a lightbulb
Spearheading the development of renewable and affordable energy solutions for a sustainable future

Tackling the complex challenges of energy research and innovation necessitates the collaboration of faculty members from diverse disciplines. At UT, it is recognized that the multifaceted nature of energy issues requires expertise from various fields to develop comprehensive solutions. By bringing together faculty from every facet of campus, UT fosters an interdisciplinary approach to address these complexities. This convergence enables a holistic understanding of the challenges at hand and facilitates the exploration of innovative ideas and transformative technologies.

Through collaborative efforts, UT faculty are able to synergize their expertise, collectively unlocking new possibilities and driving impactful advancements in renewable energy, policy formulation, technology development, and more. This interdisciplinary approach is crucial in shaping a sustainable energy future that addresses the pressing needs of our society and the planet.


Why GE2, why now?

Energy and the environment are two of our planet’s greatest resources – both valuable and in need of protecting. New perspectives, a unique UT recipe that can only happen in our region and state, and growing industry partnerships make this the “right place at the right time”.

If you are interested in partnering in GE2 or want to receive more information about our work, please join our listserv by reaching out to Brad Day at


Recent News

UT-ORII Selects Two New $20M UT-ORNL Convergent Research Initiatives The University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute (UT-ORII) has selected circular bioeconomy systems and radiopharmaceutical therapies as its two newest […]
UTIA Receives Farmer-to-Farmer Grant to Strengthen the Involvement of Southeast Asian Youth in Agriculture through Exchanges with U.S. Volunteers The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) has been awarded a five-year grant through the John Ogonowski and Doug […]
Global Energy Ecosystems: $500K in Seed Funds Announced for Research and Team Building The Office of Research Innovation and Economic Development (ORIED) and the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE) are […]