Recently, Stevens Institute of Technology and PSEG held a reception at Liberty Science Center to celebrate our longstanding partnership and PSEG’s underwriting of Stevens’ innovative SURE House. Late last year, the PSEG Foundation awarded a new $1.5 million grant to further strengthen academic excellence at the university and take our partnership to a new level.
PSEG has contributed to Stevens in the past and we benefit directly from their academic excellence – not just accessing their industry-specific research and innovation in such areas as flexible photo electronics, sustainable fuels, and energy conversion and storage, but also directly from the 200 Stevens graduates who work today at PSEG. This includes recent graduates like Dawn Shilkoski, Principal Engineer at our transmission group, and executives such Ralph LaRossa, President and COO of PSEG Power.
PSEG’s grant will allow Stevens to fund new faculty positions and provide more student opportunities in energy research. It also will allow Stevens to expand access to its middle school and high school STEM summer programs, increasing participation for underserved and economically disadvantaged young people.
The PSEG Foundation also will continue to sponsor “OnStage at Stevens,” which offers arts and cultural programs for the college community as well as to residents of Hoboken and its neighbors.
At PSEG, we also search for ways to collaborate with organizations that share our priorities in environmental stewardship and sustainability, as well as improving educational opportunities in STEM fields. Underwriting Stevens’ SURE House was a strong fit.
A Stevens team – a mix of students with experience in engineering, energy efficiency, architecture, business, communications, management and computer science, and guided by the university’s faculty – created an energy efficient home to compete in the U.S. Energy Department’s Solar Decathlon.
Spurred by the state’s experience with Superstorm Sandy and New Jersey’s strong association with the Shore, students at Stevens designed and built a prototype for a new kind of sustainable, resilient home meant to withstand the threats of rising sea levels and survive increasingly damaging storms. It was appropriately called a “SURE House” – short for SUstainable and REsilient but which, phonetically, sounds like “Shore House.”
The efforts of the Stevens team earned national recognition, winning the Department of Energy’s competition against students from a dozen other highly regarded universities.
The house is impressive and reflects a New Jersey beach feel. It has solar panels that can be pulled down to protect wall-to-ceiling windows during a storm, uses 90 percent less energy than a typical New Jersey home and uses innovative building materials to maximize efficient cooling and heating.
PSEG not only underwrote a portion of the research and construction of Stevens’ championship SURE House, but also paid to transport it to the competition in Irvine, California, and then paid to bring it back to its current home at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, where it can now be toured and serve as an inspiration for others.
Companies like ours will look to the next generation of innovators to help with issues such as climate change and energy decarbonization. Re-imagining the energy grid will require people with knowledge, curiosity and creativity. We expect some of those innovators will come from Stevens.
PSEG’s long partnership with Stevens is an example of how industries and universities can work together to advance each other’s missions – and to help society solve problems that face us all.