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Energy Policy Research Conference
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is CAES?

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) is a research and education consortium between Boise State University, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho State University, University of Idaho, and University of Wyoming.

Who owns CAES?

The 55,000-square-foot building is owned by the state of Idaho. It is technically an Idaho State University facility. ISU’s staff maintains the building.
The $17 million spent to build CAES came from several sources, including the state of Idaho; the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); and INL managing contractor Battelle Energy Alliance with its parent corporations Battelle Memorial Institute and URS Washington Division, which backed $10 million in bonds for the building.

Who runs CAES?

Dr. Steven Aumeier, an INL associate lab director, leads CAES. There are also associate directors from each of the university partners:  Dr. Bob Smith of University of Idaho, Dr. David Solan and Dr. Darryl Butt of Boise State University, Dr. Jason Harris of Idaho State University, and Dr. Don Roth of University of Wyoming. 
INL leases 68 percent of the building. The four universities each lease 8 percent.

Why was CAES built?

The concept for CAES actually dates back to 2004, when the Department of Energy was bidding the contract to run INL. Part of its strategic outline included creating a partnership between the lab and the state’s three research universities to promote collaboration. The idea originated with former Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, Bill Magwood.

What is its mission?

The center is committed to conducting cutting edgy energy research, educating the next generation of scientists and engineers, and partnering with industry to advance competitiveness.

What kind of research does CAES conduct?

CAES’ research is focused on nuclear science and engineering; advanced materials science; energy systems design, testing and analysis; bioenergy; carbon management/geofluids energy science; industrial control cybersecurity; and energy policy.

So how is the research conducted at CAES different than at INL or the universities?

CAES is about the power of partnership – solving technical challenges as a team. Several CAES institutions working as a team can provide value in a way an individual CAES institution working alone cannot. The CAES consortium expands the competitiveness and impact of member research and enhances energy-related educational opportunities. All CAES research and development involves the collaboration of at least two of its partners.

 

How is CAES funded?

CAES funding comes from a variety of stakeholders including the state of Idaho, the federal government through the DOE, and a variety of customers from private industry and government agencies.

Do I need to have an INL badge or security clearance to enter the building?

No, you do not. Because CAES is a state-owned building, visitors are not required to undergo the same screening as if they were entering an INL facility.