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SOFI Launches Youtube Channel and Social Media Campaign

The SOFI team has been hard at work building up our social media presence. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and now Youtube.


As part of SOFI's commitment to facilitating collaboration, discussion, and exchange, we've been pursing a social media campaign across several platforms. We have a lot of projects in the works, including one we will be unveiling soon. In the meantime, go to Youtube to see our managing director, Jonathan Schneider, imagine a world with solar fuels.

SOFI and the Swedish Consortium Launching Major Conference in 2015

Imagine over 400 of the brightest minds in every field of solar fuels research together in one place, exchanging ideas and discussing the latest advances in research.


This is the vision of SOFI and the Swedish Consortium for Artificial Photosynthesis for their first international solar fuels conference, called Solar Fuels I, which will be held in Uppsala, Sweden from April 26 – May 1, 2015. “The conference is unique because they want to expand the scope,” says Dick Co, who is part of the international committee for Solar Fuels I. “They want to be inclusive of ideas and processes that are different,” Co says, emphasizing this diversity of fields and disciplines is something that no other solar fuels conference covers yet. This collaboration between different fields could lead to breakthroughs. “It creates more cross talk between different disciplines,” Co says, “then you see novel approaches.”

SOFI and SFN Kickstart Collaborations at Solar Fuels GRC

Researchers from around the world had the opportunity to network and share ideas at the 2014 Solar Fuels Gordon Research Conference.


Topics ranged from light capture and utilization to water oxidation catalysis to biological and biomimetic proton reduction catalysis. SOFI was a contributor at the conference, and has forged a new collaborative partnership with the UK-based Solar Fuels Network. The two organizations will encourage members to develop collaborative projects, and they can submit research proposals to SOFI and SFN for joint funding. During the workshop, SOFI and SFN members discussed other potential joint activities, such as teleconferences, webinars and blogs. Informal discussions after the workshop between researchers led to a number of potential UK-US collaborative projects.

SOFI Virtual Seminars Transform Collaboration for Academic Labs

SOFI’s twice-monthly virtual seminars are a place for global collaboration in an informal setting, where exchanging ideas and going deep into details is the goal.


The seminars regularly draw an international audience, with participants from France and the Netherlands, as well as U.S. universities, such as Rutgers, UNC, Cal Tech, Arizona State, and Northwestern. “This was born out of a desire to disseminate more information more quickly, and more globally,” said Dick Co, SOFI’s co-managing director. SOFI is taking the best of conferences – the discussions, interactions, and questions that deepen knowledge and influence research - and updating it for a global, interconnected world. Using software developed at Cal Tech, the sessions allow simultaneous videoconferencing and slide sharing with multiple participants. Each week is focused on one specific topic so participants can dive deep, discussing details which researchers might never get at a conference, Co explains, such as microscope setup. SOFI works with the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis on these seminars, each group bringing in speakers every other week. It’s all part of SOFI’s mission to push solar fuels research into a new age, Co says, and transform academic labs to interface with the modern world.

SOFI Facilitates Collaboration Opportunity

Charles Dismukes, professor of chemistry at Rutgers University, a SOFI member institution, is pursuing a promising industry collaboration.


Dismukes plans to work with Proton Onsite, a company that manufactures hydrogen, nitrogen and purified air generators, to test novel catalysts for solar fuels technology. “It’s really an ideal collaboration,” Dismukes says. His group at Rutgers will be providing the catalysts, while Proton Onsite will provide the electrolyzer, a device necessary for testing the catalysts. “SOFI provided the mechanism for collaboration,” Dismukes explains. Dismukes’ project is a public representation of SOFI’s mission to drive collaboration across organizations. He and SOFI hope it will positively impact federal funding for solar fuels technology. Dismukes is pursuing an NSF grant, as well as funding from Rutgers to support the project. “I’ve used the SOFI program as leverage to seek federal funding,” he says. “What SOFI does an absolutely superb job of is communicating the urgency and the need for solar fuels. We look to them for leadership in that.”

SOFI Welcomes New Program Manager

SOFI is pleased to welcome Amanda Smeigh as new program manager!


Amanda has extensive experience in solar cells and solar fuels, and is deeply passionate about solar energy’s potential to enhance our quality of life and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. She received her PhD in Chemistry from Michigan State University, and has worked for both the Swedish Consortium for Artificial Photosynthesis and the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center. Amanda’s research has spanned topics from catalysis to photon capture, and she has worked with a team to assemble a novel solar cell that was four times as efficient as previous solar cells of the same kind. Collaboration is important to Amanda, and is what drew her to SOFI. She says, “I believe that a community of scientists, entrepreneurs, and motivated industrial visionaries can make great strides in moving beyond the age of fossil fuels.” 

CO2 Utilization Congress

SOFI is a Technology Partner at the Carbon Dioxide Utilization Congress


ACI’s Carbon Dioxide Utilization Congress taking place on the 19th & 20th February 2014 in San Diego, US will look at the value of CO₂ in a commercial environment, with a particular emphasis on potentially profitable technologies such as enhanced oil recovery. There will also be a focus on the implications of CO₂ utilization for the environment and the energy sector as a whole, with speakers coming from international corporations, renowned universities and regulatory bodies.

Special Discount for Solar Fuels Institute Members 20% off the standard fee valid till 24th December 2013. Quote: CCO2MP when booking.

SOFI is hiring!

We are inviting Ph.D. applications for a Program Manager


Successful candidates will have specialized in the solar fuels (artificial photosynthesis) field with demonstrated experience managing complex projects, collaborating across multiple labs, and communicating scientific discoveries to all audiences.  The Program Manager will execute and manage multiple collaborative research projects between SOFI labs and strengthen his/her entrepreneurial acumen. One of SOFI’s goals is to foster the smooth progression of fundamental research into translational R&D, and the successful candidate would play an integral role in uniting the compartmentalized fields in solar fuels and communicating the discoveries in a proprietary Knowledge Map.


More information on the position can be found under Archive >> Documents.

Solar Fuels GRC Sponsorship

SOFI is a Contributor at the Solar Fuels Gordon Research Conference

The 2014 Gordon Conference on "Renewable Energy: Solar Fuels" will explore new ideas and progress in the problem of generating chemical fuels from water and other renewable feedstocks using sunlight as the energy source. The Conference will cover topics ranging from advances in understanding natural photosynthetic and enzymatic processes to synthetic model systems for artificial photosynthesis, nanomaterial-based approaches, and system concepts based on semi-synthetic organisms and solar thermal/chemical conversion. The collegial atmosphere of this Conference, with programmed discussion sessions and informal gatherings in the afternoons and evenings, provides a unique international forum in which the academic and industrial scientists can exchange ideas to advance the field of renewable energy.

SOFI Profiled by Lux Research

SOFI featured in Lux's Sept. 2013 Alternative Fuels Journal

Lux Research is an independent research and advisory firm providing strategic advice and ongoing intelligence on emerging technologies. They profiled SOFI in the September 24, 2013 issue of their Alternative Fuels Journal, and SOFI member institutions were highlighted.  Lux reached the conclusion that SOFI has "the ability to closely monitor various efforts throughout the solar fuels ecosystem objectively. Because SOFI is scouting the industry for promising technologies, instead of pitching its own wares, it represents an ideal partnership target. Clients interested in the solar fuels space should consider joining SOFI as a member."


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Brochure / Promo
2013 Program Manager
Job description and application information for the Program Manager position, including 1/4-page ad published in October 28, 2013 issue of Chemical & Engineering News.


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