USC Research & Innovation Supports Faculty Recipient of Department of Energy (DOE) Award

The University of Southern California (USC) Office of Research and Innovation (OORI) strives to encourage and support faculty across the university to excel in their fields through ethical and rigorous research, scholarship, creativity, and innovation. We support our faculty in their efforts to obtain external federal funding that builds off of the innovative projects they lead internally at USC. As such, we are thrilled to announce that Professor Travis Williams (PhD), of the Department of Chemistry in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, has received an award through the Department of Energy (DOE) H2 Fuel Tech Office. Prior to this award, Professor Williams received various grants from ORI’s internal funding program to support the purchase of instrumentation maintained at a core facility utilized by multiple faculty; equipment purchased include a High Temperature GPC, a Single-Crystal X-ray Diffractometer, and a MALDI Mass Spectrometer. Professor Williams has also worked with the Research Strategy & Development (RSD) subdivision of OORI on federal grant applications, receiving support throughout the grant submission lifecycle and process. Additionally, Professor Williams has received support from the USC Stevens Center for Innovation, which has worked to assist in commercialization and the management of his intellectual property. This suite of services is available to all faculty, as OORI aims to provide seed funding useful for generating competitive proposals for external funding of research, as well as commercializing the IP that results from this research.

Professor William’s DOE award fully aligns with the goals and mission of OORI, both in terms of further bolstering and building-out innovative research concepts, and in terms of commercialization potential. In 2022, Professor Williams was one of the recipients of the USC Stevens Center for Innovation Technology Advancement Grants (TAG) awards. The TAG awards totaled $300,000 across three projects in life sciences and physical sciences, and Professor William’s award, titled “Commercializing Ethanol and Glycerol as Hydrogen Carriers” will be further developed under the DOE program. The award to Professor Williams is a $1M translational research grant that will help bring their concept to market—the award will bring access to DOE’s network of expertise, infrastructure, and commercialization ecosystem. 

Department of Energy (DOE) Award: The DOE announced $47.7 million in funding for 16 research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects across 13 states to advance clean hydrogen technologies. The selected projects aim to lower technology costs, enhance hydrogen infrastructure, and improve the performance of hydrogen fuel cells. Dr. William’s project, titled “Chemical Storage Media with Value-Added Co-Products” aims to develop chemicals that can efficiently carry hydrogen to its point of use, where the hydrogen is released and the chemical carrier can then be used for valuable agricultural purposes. The team includes Los Alamos and Brookhaven National Laboratories, as well as California State University, Los Angeles.

Congratulations Professor Williams!