U.S. Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Jim McGovern visited the UMass Amherst campus today to celebrate nearly $2 million in congressional-led funding to support projects for the Energy Transition Institute recently launched and at Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS). The funding, championed by Markey, McGovern and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, was included in the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill recently signed into law by President Joe Biden.
The funding advances important diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including CICS scholarships and fellowships for women and underrepresented minorities, and funding to place the equity and justice at the forefront of a clean energy system.
“UMass Amherst has long been a champion of climate justice and is at the forefront of groundbreaking energy science and technology,” Markey said. “I am proud to have helped secure $995,000 in funding for the Energy Transition Institute at UMASS Amherst so we can develop new solutions and educate the next generation of leaders in the clean energy economy. . With this funding, we can support important climate research and deepen engagement with communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change.
“Robotics and computer skills are a critical need for today’s employers,” McGovern said. “This funding helps ensure that every student has the chance to join a rapidly growing field and leave their mark on the world in a challenging and rewarding career. I am thrilled to partner with Senator Markey and his team to provide Massachusetts students, support groundbreaking academic opportunities, and make this funding a reality.
The university’s Energy Transition Institute (ETI) received $995,000 to bolster three of its primary goals: supporting community-based research to develop a framework for just energy transition in Massachusetts’ hub cities; fund graduate and postgraduate research grants in energy transition; and supporting research and development of innovative, low-cost methods to move electricity distribution lines and broadband cables underground.
Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) will use part of its $1 million allocation to fund scholarships to recruit women and students from underrepresented minorities into master’s and degree in computer science or computer science, which will help it achieve its ambitious goal of increasing the number of female enrollments from 27% in 2019 to at least 40% by 2024. CICS will also allocate part of the funds to expand its robotics program through outreach to middle and high school students and robotics internships to give high school teachers serving minorities and teachers at historically black colleges and universities access to current research in robotics and systems autonomous.