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9H Research Foundation to gift over $10 million USD to the University of Wyoming

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March 5, 2021

LARAMIE, Wyo., February 25, 2021 – The 9H Research Foundation (9H) announced that it will be donating over $10 million dollars to the University of Wyoming in the form of clean energy installations and in-kind support services. 9H has begun the construction of a philanthropic Student Research Facility at the university, which includes a three-megawatt (MW) solar installation. The research facility will also support the creation of a world-class Clean Energy Engineering curriculum out of the University of Wyoming.

To commemorate the generous donation, UW President Ed Seidel hosted an event at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center on Campus. Speaking at the event, President Seidel said the 9H/UW partnership would have important impacts for Wyoming while giving students the opportunity for hands-on experiential learning and research. “This will help put us at the forefront of that area of research. Training in technology and engineering are areas that we think are important for us to work on for the future of the economy in the state,” said Seidel.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, speaking at the event, said that coordinated efforts are necessary in the state to supply energy in diverse ways.

9H sponsored 31 University of Wyoming senior design students to compete in a $5,000 renewable energy design challenge. The winners, Mechanical Engineering Team B and Chemical Engineering Team B, were announced at the event. To drive innovation and provide students with hands-on research experience, 9H is also hiring two student interns and funding seven student groups to design and build $15,000 worth of solar and energy storage projects out of the new research facility.

Partners helping fund the 9H Research Foundation and student projects include First Solar, Creative Energies Solar, Wyoming-NASA Space Grant Consortium, Alt E Wind and Solar, Black Bean Capital Partners, RiskThinking.AI, and Climate Risk Labs. In line with the Governor’s WIN Initiative, 9H is presenting a business model for the state: attract industry by providing them with solar energy, abundant Wyoming natural gas, a skilled workforce, and state tax incentives.

“9H Research Foundation is committed to the long-term future success of the University of Wyoming and the Laramie community. Our Solar Research Center will allow students to gain hands-on experience for their future careers. Through our partnership with UW, we are creating endowed professorships and student scholarships to attract the best minds in the clean energy sphere. This will help position Wyoming as the best University for clean energy, driving jobs and economic growth for the state.”

– Gene Humphrey, UW Alumni and Founder/owner of 9H Research Foundation

“The University of Wyoming has a long history of innovation. We are excited to partner with UW and look to innovate in clean energy to create a world-class research facility. This is the first step in bolstering industry creation in Wyoming. The 9H-UW partnership will provide students with hands-on research opportunities to launch their successful tech and energy careers, right here in the state.”

Paul Bonifas, Director of 9H Research Foundation

“The 9H project represents an amazing opportunity for students and faculty from the University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Applied Science to be closely involved in a cutting edge large-scale renewable energy installation. UW CEAS graduate Gene Humphrey wants to give back to the University and wants to build this facility near campus with maximum participation of students and faculty. While a typical installation of this size would never have opportunities like this, 9H Research Foundation is willing to adjust the overall design, as it is developed and installed, to better facilitate research, student involvement, and general benefit to the UW and CEAS community. CEAS is very fortunate to have Gene Humphrey and the 9H team so dedicated to working with the college. There is no other project like this in the world!”

– Dr. Cameron Wright, Dean College of Engineering and Applied Science 

$5,000 Challenge Winning Students:

PV Team: Rhett Cook, Lucas Morrissette, Alexander Jansen, Benjamin Wimpenny, Justin Keller, and Chase Bancroft
Energy Storage Team: Karla Contreras, Halston Drennan, Paige Palmer, Regis Kissimina, and Osama Zayed

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