Graduate student Chris Warkentin named REC Fellow by UMN Institute on the Environment

Chris Warkentin has been awarded a $50,000 Renewable Energy Commercialization (REC) Fellowship. Warketin is a graduate student with Prof. Renee Frontiera. He is one of three new fellows announced for 2021-22

The REC Fellowship program is a joint initiative of the Institute on the Environment, the College of Science and Engineering, the MIN-Corps program, and the Office of Technology Commercialization with a goal of  accelerating technology translation of renewable energy and energy efficiency research at the University of Minnesota.

Warkentin's REC project involves upconverting lower energy light to higher energy light, which has shown promise toward improving the efficiency of solar cells by converting light that is typically wasted into usable wavelengths. He is working with a new material derived from earth-abundant, non-toxic, and inexpensive precursor compounds, and shows potential as a more sustainable alternative to established infrared upconverting materials.