Energy Boost Scholars

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The purpose of Energy Boost Scholars (EBS) program is to engage SIU undergraduate students in faculty-mentored, hands-on research activities. Students explore their intended majors or areas of interest, develop relationships with faculty in their field, and gain valuable research and critical thinking skills. Contact or 618/453-7327 with questions. Students can submit applications as individuals or as a representative of an RSO.

This program is funded by ACERC's Energy Boost.

Use your imagination!

The award committee is looking for creative proposals that look to answer open questions or solve problems related to clean energy systems (here's some inspiration). Proposals can explore a specific scientific question, work towards an invention, or a local or global energy issue. Use this opportunity to showcase your creativity to your future employers or educators.

Important Details 

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled
Winners Announced:
 January 2020
Project Period:
Spring Semester 2020
$500 upon completion and exposure of your work to a professional audience
Overview: This Program supports original student energy-related research and innovation and serves to
engage SIU students in faculty-mentored, hands-on research and innovation activities. 
Requirements: Projects selected are carried out during the spring semester. Students should work with a faculty mentor. Deliverables include a poster (or other appropriate presentation e.g. PowerPoint), and the results of the project in the form of a research paper, prototype, etc. 
Questions? Call 618/453-7327 or email


  • Must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student (minimum 12 credit hours) of SIU Carbondale during project activities in the current academic year Spring semester. Students can submit as an individual or on behalf of an RSO, fraternity, sorority, etc., that they represent in the case of a team effort. The named applicant will be responsible for all project deliverables, and can be supported by team members at presentation time.
  • Have an interest in energy research and/or innovation inquiry. Examples include renewable energy, smart grid, climate and energy.
  • Be committed to participate in project activities.

Student Benefits

  • Students can dig deeper into their passions and questions regarding energy research and innovation.
  • Increased awareness of academic opportunities available at SIU Carbondale.
  • Mentoring relationships with faculty, staff, and students.
  • Informal social and academic support.
  • Professional and Academic enrichment activities.
  • Opportunity for $500 stipend at the end of spring semester after completing all Energy Boost Scholar requirements.
  • Experience in completing a project towards a specific goal and presenting results to a professional audience at SIU Energy Day.

Application Procedure

  1. Please fill out the Online Registration Form. You will be contacted by ACERC upon receipt of your Registration.
  2. Complete your application by emailing the following information in document format to on or before the application deadline (or as adjusted with ACERC):
    • Project proposal written by the applicant. Include the following:
      • A statement briefly describing the advanced coal and energy research, education or innovation activity, project or idea;
      • A description of the deliverable to be produced from the project in addition to the poster presentation, i.e. research paper, prototype, etc.
      • the applicant's academic background and work/extracurricular activities supporting the student is prepared to carry out this project;
      • the applicant's planned course of study at SIUC;
      • the names and departments of the faculty members the student has communicated with to discuss the faculty being the student's mentor for the project. 
      • (Microsoft Word document, 500 word limit, single spaced, 1" margins, 12 pt Times New Roman font. Applicant's first and last names and email address are to be in the top right corner of each page.)
    • Letter of recommendation from someone familiar with your academic success and potential, e.g., current faculty member, high school teacher, guidance counselor, pastor, etc.
    • Copy of most recent high school transcript or college transcript (unofficial transcripts acceptable).

Current and Past Energy Boost Scholars

Spring 2019

Carly Kasicki
Triple major in Biology, French, and German with two minors in Chemistry and Political Science
Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth Donaghue, Honors Program
Project Title: Communication and Outreach for Transitioning Residential Communities to Solar

Spring 2018

Ava Alford
Sophomore in Plant Biology from Williamsfield
Faculty Mentor: Dale Vitt, retired Professor of Plant Biology
Project Title: Vegetation Monitoring for Suncor’s Fort Hills Oil Sands Project

Lincoln Weber
Sophomore in Mechanical Engineering from West Lafayette, Ind.
Faculty Mentor: Saikat Talapatra, Professor of Physics
Project Title: Evaluation of Optical Properties of Atomically Thin Photoactive Nanomaterials for Use in Solar Cells
Watch Presentation

Spring 2017

Sophie Hall
Senior, Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes
Faculty Mentor: Professor Emmanuel Nsofor
Project Title: Solar Powered Water Purifier with Aerobic Compost Heat Exchanger
View Sophie's 2017 Energy Day Presentation (Video and Slides available)

Spring 2016

John Lindt
Freshman, Microbiology
Faculty Mentor: Professor David Lightfoot, College of Agricultural Sciences
Project Title: Production of a Strain of Soybean for Efficient Extraction of Rare Earth Elements from Coal Byproduct

Kelby Rogers
Senior, Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes
Faculty Mentor: Associate Professor James Mathias, College of Engineering
Project Title: Structural Analysis and Energy Calculations for a Green Roof on the SIU Recreational Center