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Cluster Leads:

Parag Banerjee, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Material Science Engineering

Talat Rahman, Ph.D.

Pegasus Professor of Physics

UCF’s Renewable Energy and Chemical Transformation Cluster, or REACT, is developing new, alternative materials for catalysis to power technology and chemical processes that are safe for people and the environment.

The production of electricity from renewable sources, like solar, is a cost-competitive alternative to fossil-fuel-generated electricity, and alternatively powered forms of transportation are rapidly gaining acceptance.

Essential to harnessing these forms of alternative energy is research into the materials needed to produce and store them.

Energy research is critical in slowing growth in carbon emissions without slowing economic growth. Within the past few years, increases in carbon emissions are now less than the rate of economic growth, due in large part to new renewable energy sources coming online.

Valuable Partnerships

UCF and Florida already have large investments in energy and propulsion technologies (Siemens, Mitsubishi, Lockheed Martin, GE/Alstom, Pratt & Whitney, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Space-X and ATK), and more recently with the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center. These local investments benefit from closer connections to ongoing research at UCF, enabled by existing links to UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center and Center for Advanced Turbines and Energy Research.

History of High Impact

UCF has a history of implementing high-impact, entrepreneurially focused curricula. Most recently, the university worked closely with the DoE on implementing two cleantech-focused efforts – an annual cleantech accelerator, which was designed to identify and support promising cleantech technologies throughout the Southeast, and the Florida Cleantech Acceleration Network, which created a statewide support network and “proof of concept” center for cleantech entrepreneurs. These programs served more than 200 ventures that went on to raise more than $5 million in follow-on funding on their paths to commercialization.

Overcoming Obstacles

Increased awareness of the potential societal and economic impacts of climate change are driving clean energy research, and UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center is playing an important role in this effort. National investments are starting to yield important advances, and clean energy is becoming economically competitive. In fact, utility solar and rooftop solar power are actually cheaper than electricity-generated fossil fuels. However, there are still critical obstacles that require investment, especially in areas related to energy conversion and storage – all of which this cluster helps to address.

Congratulations – Dr. Titel Jurca:

UCF REACT Faculty, Titel Jurca, was selected by the American Chemical Society as one of their Outreach Volunteers of the Year for 2022. Titel Jurca is a go-to volunteer of the Orlando Local Section. At the beginning of 2021, Titel spearheaded the half-day in-person Chemists Celebrate Earth Week event in downtown Orlando. It reached nearly 500 community members (diverse demographic and age groups) to survey, demonstrate, and educate about plastic recycling.


In The News

UCF Researchers Uncover Key Mechanisms for Sustainable Ammonia Production
Ammonia is an essential ingredient in many fertilizers for food production, but its primary production method is energy and fuel…
UCF Researchers Work to Reduce the Amount of Precious Metals in Catalytic Converters
Not only could the research make catalytic converters less attractive to thieves, but it could also help the environment.
New UCF-developed Battery Could Prevent Post-hurricane Electric Vehicle Fires
The technology replaces the volatile and highly flammable organic solvents found in electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries with saltwater to create…

Renewable Energy and Chemical Transformation (REACT) Research



Renewable Energy and Chemical Transformation (REACT) Degree Programs

UCF offers a degree program track for students interested in renewable energy and power. For more programs, search UCF programs below.

Renewable Energy and Chemical Transformation (REACT) Faculty