Clean Tech Companies Selected to Receive Innovative Assistance through EPIC Buildings Program in 2024

The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) and CenterState CEO’s The Tech Garden have announced the cohort of companies selected to take part in the third year of the EPIC Buildings Program, a suite of services designed to help companies accelerate development and commercialization of innovations for energy hardware to create grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs).

SyracuseCoE Supports Industry Collaboration with Summer Internship Program

At SyracuseCoE, our mission is to be a hub for innovation and accelerate the transfer of technologies from lab to market. One of the ways we work toward that goal is by supporting a summer internship program that benefits both students and businesses. The SyracuseCoE Industry Collaboration Student Internship Program provides experiential learning for students in CNY while helping local companies advance their strategic objectives. To date, 42 companies and over 125 students have participated.

Student Spotlight: Ji Zhou and Wenfeng Huang

Wenfeng Huang is a Ph.D. student researcher at SyracuseCoE’s Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory (BEESL), working with SyracuseCoE Executive Director Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang. Ji Zhou is a first-year Ph.D. student and researcher at SyracuseCoE’s Building Environment Science & Technology (BEST) Lab, led by Syracuse University Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Bing Dong.

Bioinspired Material Design for Sustainable Manufacturing

SyracuseCoE recently hosted an Research & Technology Forum featuring Dr. Zhao Qin, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University, who spoke about his team’s research on innovative, bio-inspired materials.

Assessing Urban Air Quality in Syracuse

The environmental and economic landscapes of Syracuse are expected to undergo substantial change over the next several years. The city’s transformation is being driven by major urban developments; most notably, the demolition and reconstruction of the Route 81 highway and the establishment of a Micron chip manufacturing facility directly north of Syracuse (Clay). Both ventures are expected to stimulate Syracuse’s economy and create new residential and work opportunities, with improved access to the city’s downtown areas and potential job openings at the nearby Micron facility.

SU Students Win Green Building Poster Competition

Syracuse University students took first place in several categories at the New York State Green Building Conference (NYSGBC) poster competition! Held on February 29th and March 1st, 2024, the NYSGBC is hosted by SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in partnership with Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (Syracuse CoE) and U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate. Now in its 22nd year, the conference brings together leading practitioners, researchers and educators to advance green building design, construction and processes.

SyracuseCoE 2024 Partners Day

Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) is excited to host its second annual Partners Day. Open to all members of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program, this event is designed to highlight current research and development priorities and strengthen ecosystem connections among Partners.

Research on Urban Geospatial Patterns and Their Nexus to Built Environment

SyracuseCoE hosted their annual celebration on February 7, 2024, featuring a Research and Technology Forum followed by a reception. This R&T forum featured the geospatial science research conduct by Dr. Peng Gao, along with an update on the development of a green design studio (GDS) at SyracuseCoE, presented by Dr. Lu Li.

Opportunities for Innovation in Heat Pumps

Electrification has been identified as a key to reducing carbon emissions by eliminating fossil fuels, and heat pumps are a cornerstone of this electrification. This EPIC Buildings webinar featured three leaders in the application of heat pumps: Nicole Ceci, Principal Mechanical Engineer at Steven Winter Associates; Jordan Dentz, VP of NY Operations at MaGrann Associates; and Evan Hallas, Senior Energy Analyst at Taitem Engineering.

Student Spotlight: Yapan Liu and Xuezheng Wang

Yapan Liu is a Ph.D. candidate working with Professor Bing Dong at SyracuseCoE since 2019. Yapan’s research focuses on “big data” based urban-scale human mobility studies, occupant behavior modeling, and building-to-grid control. Xuezheng Wang is a Ph.D. candidate and student researcher at SyracuseCoE TIEQ Lab, focusing on research control and optimization of building energy systems. Xuezheng joined Professor Bing Dong’s team at SyracuseCoE during the last year of his master’s program, focusing on controlling the HVAC System in shrinking the operation time of the HVAC system.

SyracuseCoE Partner uvcPhyzx Advances UVC Technology

Exciting news from the innovation front! SyracuseCoE Startup Partner uvcPhyzx, a 2022 SyracuseCoE Innovation grant awardee, has made a significant breakthrough in pathogen inactivation. Collaborating with the Syracuse University Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering, the team has successfully achieved a two-log reduction of viable gray mold spores in a single-pass test configuration.

Innovation Fund at SyracuseCoE Awards $40,000 to Local Climate Tech Companies

Four New York State companies have been chosen to receive SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund awards to help commercialize their innovative products and services. Winning companies are BloomOptix, EMPEQ, M3 Innovation, and TK Fabricate.
To learn more about the SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund or the Partner Program, contact Tammy Rosanio at

Deep Energy Retrofits: The Net Zero Energy Retrofit Living Lab

For SyracuseCoE’s November 2023 Research & Technology forum, Professor Nina Wilson presented her team’s work at the Net Zero Energy Retrofit Living Lab, a three-year project at Syracuse University. This research effort is focused on the development of replicable approaches to deep energy retrofits to improve building energy efficiency, indoor air quality for human health, and thermal and visual comfort for thousands of existing multifamily buildings in New York’s cold climate.

Hydronic Shell Technologies Awarded $3 Million for New Building Technology

The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) is pleased to announce that Hydronic Shell Technologies is the recipient of a $3 million grant from the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge. A nationwide competition administered by Enterprise Community Partners and the Wells Fargo Foundation, the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge supports innovative solutions to make housing more accessible and equitable.

SyracuseCoE Industry Partners Council (IPC) Meeting and Reception

Join us for a semi-annual meeting of SyracuseCoE’s Industry Partners Council (IPC) on Wednesday, December 6th, 2023 from 3:30p – 5:00p. Hosted by IPC Chair Scott MacBain of Carrier Corp. and Professor Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang, SyracuseCoE Executive Director.

Urban Air Quality Modeling and Monitoring for Pollutant Exposure and Health Risk Assessments

While concentration measurements of atmospheric trace gas and particulate matter are essential to quantifying air pollution, numerical modeling research is imperative to understanding the mechanisms driving the formation of air pollution and further informing policy-making. This R&T forum featured the regional and urban air quality modeling and simulation research conducted by Professor Huiting Mao and her research group at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). In addition, SyracuseCoE’s Executive Director Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang, provided an update on the development of SyracuseCoE’s multiscale testbed for building and urban air quality monitoring that will facilitate both academic research and industrial product development and demonstration.

Collaboration Opportunities for Companies at NREL and Other National Labs

Climate technology companies have many opportunities to pursue collaborations with external organizations whose work and goals are synergistic with their own. This webinar discussed various options for collaboration across the national laboratory system with a primary focus on work and programs available through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Student Spotlight: Shayan Mirzabeigi and Sameeraa Soltanian-Zadeh

Shayan Mirzabeigi and Sameeraa Soltanian-Zadeh are two SyracuseCoE-affiliated PhD student researchers with notable contributions to the development and fielding of indoor air quality (IAQ) sensors throughout Syracuse University’s South Campus student housing units.

SyracuseCoE Awards $180,000 for Nine Faculty Fellow Projects Supporting Research and Innovation by Faculty and Companies

SyracuseCoE announced that nine research and innovations projects led by faculty members from Syracuse University, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), and SUNY Oswego were competitively selected to receive awards totaling over $218,000. The projects engage a total of nine faculty members from six departments at Syracuse University, SUNY ESF, and SUNY Oswego.  

Carrier Corporation Executives Co-Chair SyracuseCoE Industry Partners Council

The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems at Syracuse University (SyracuseCoE) is proud to announce the appointment of Yu Chen and Scott MacBain from Carrier Corporation as the new co-chairs of the SyracuseCoE Industry Partner Council (IPC). In their active leadership roles, Chen and MacBain will play a key role in advancing the mission of SyracuseCoE, a pioneering research and innovation center dedicated to fostering academic and industrial collaboration for sustainable development and economic growth in indoor and urban environmental quality, clean and renewable energy, and water resources.

SyracuseCoE Holds Inaugural ‘Partners Day’

In alignment with the goal of strengthening its innovation ecosystem, the Center held its first ‘Partners Day’, welcoming all industry, affiliate, startup, and community partners for a morning of presentations and networking. The program included two research presentations given by SyracuseCoE researchers and three industry presentations given by SyracuseCoE partner representatives.

Syracuse Air Quality Matters: Community-Based Monitoring Projects for I-81

Major changes are planned for the urban environment of Syracuse, NY. Interstate-81 will be demolished and replaced with a community grid. Local residents have raised concerns about how this will affect air quality during and after construction. This Research & Technology Forum explores Syracuse’s current air quality, assesses future air quality, and addresses the need for publicly available air quality data.

Innovations in Energy Storage at Buildings

This panel discussion features three companies working on innovation products for energy storage at buildings. The discussion centers on the market opportunities and visions of three companies seeking to grow their business in this energy sector. Panelists include Norma Byron, Ellie Rusling, and Paul Mutolo; moderated by Eric A. Schiff.

Innovation through Law: Importance of Early Stage Research

Learn more about the importance of early-stage research in the development of intellectual property and new technologies, as well as the IP, markets and regulatory assistance available from the Innovation Law Center to support companies in the EPIC Buildings regional cluster. Speakers include Brian Gerling, Dominick Danna, and David Eilers; moderated by Eric A. Schiff.

Syracuse Researchers Create a Global Occupant Behavior Database for ASHRAE

Syracuse researchers have collaborated with ASHRAE to create and launch a global occupant behavior database to predict and understand occupant behavior in buildings. The database collects information such as occupancy patterns, lighting preferences, and thermal comfort to inform the design and operation of buildings, as well as the development of new technologies and strategies for improving building performance. The database is expected to be useful to researchers, building professionals, and policymakers seeking to improve building sustainability and livability.

Students Complete Hydronic Test-stand for Testing Cold Climate Heat Pumps

SyrcauseCoE interns Andrew Wilson and Kiana Abreu have completed a hydronic testbed with the guidance of SyracuseCoE staff engineer Brian Carter. The testbed will allow TKFabricate, a Syracuse-based startup, to test its hydronic heating systems in real-world conditions. TKFabricate’s hydronic heating systems use hot water to heat buildings and are more efficient than traditional heating systems.

SyracuseCoE Faculty Fellows Program 2023 Call for Proposals: Research & Technology Seed Funding Available

SyracuseCoE is seeking applications for its 2023 Faculty Fellows program. Proposals are invited from faculty researchers for innovative research and development efforts in SyracuseCoE’s focus areas: healthy and efficient buildings, clean energy, and low carbon communities. To be eligible to apply, faculty members must hold full-time appointments at a SyracuseCoE Academic Partner institution: Syracuse University, SUNY-ESF and SUNY Oswego.

SyracuseCoE Supports Seven Partner Companies to Hire Summer Interns

SyracuseCoE has awarded seven companies with up to $3,000 to hire interns for the summer of 2023. The internships are available to undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in careers related to energy and environmental systems. The companies awarded are: Empeq, M3 Innovation, Mission Drives, Ramboll, TelosAir, Taitem, and Well Building Controls.

SyracuseCoE Executive Director Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang Named Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Ventilation

Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang, SyracuseCoE Executive Director and Syracuse University Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Ventilation (IJV) for three years. Zhang has expertise in indoor air quality and HVAC systems, and plans use the platform to encourage more collaboration and knowledge sharing within the industry.

New SyracuseCoE Partner Members and Category

The SyracuseCoE Partner Program has expanded to include a new category: Community Partners. Seven new organizations have joined as Community Partners. SyracuseCoE is proud to join forces with these community organizations on innovative projects and initiatives.

SyracuseCoE and NYSERDA Host U.S. Dept. of Energy Student Business Plan Regional Competition

SyracuseCoE and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) partnered to host twelve university-based student teams from the New York City Metro region in the EnergyTech University Prize (UP) business plan competition. In its second year, the mission of the competition remains the same: to invite university-affiliated student teams to present a business plan for an energy technology with market potential. The “Explore” phase of the competition is regional; the winning proposal for the NYC Metro Region was “Efficiency Boosting Thin Films for Solar Panels” from the Heliotrope team from New York University.

Innovation through Law: Importance of Early Stage Research

The Innovation Law Center (ILC) provides legal research, education, and information useful in assessing the commercialization prospects for new technology. This presentation was about the importance of early-stage research in the development of intellectual property and new technologies, as well as the IP, markets and regulatory assistance available from the Innovation Law Center to support companies in the EPIC Buildings regional cluster. Presentations were given by Brian Gerling, J.D., Dominick Danna, B.A. Chemistry, B.S.E., and David Eilers, M.B.A. This was an EPIC Buildings Program event.

Dynamic Sustainability: Implications of the Net-Zero Carbon Transition

The Dynamic Sustainability Lab (DSL) examines supply chain, economic, trade and national security implications resulting from technological, biological and institutional efforts for a net-zero carbon economy. This forum explored the work of Dr. Jay Golden and The Dynamic Sustainability Lab at Syracuse University. Dr. Golden is an internationally recognized researcher and academic regarding the dynamics of the global sustainability transition. This presentation was moderated by Neil Webb, Director of Growth & Markets at Ramboll.

The Electric Revolution: Energy Storage is King

Syracuse University’s NSF Industry-University Collaborative Research Center (IUCRC) for Solid-State Electric Power Storage (CEPS) is working to develop eco-friendly, safe and economically feasible solid-state energy storage technology for portable, medical, automotive, electric grid, military and energy security applications. CEPS is working with intellectual property company, C4V, based in Binghamton, NY, to create next-generation storage materials that can be integrated into current manufacturing processes. This forum includes presentations from Mechanical and Aerospace Professor Quinn Qiao, Technology Commercialization Manager Natalya Chernova, and Battery Engineer Niloofar Karami.

SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund Awards $40,000 to CNY Companies

Four New York State companies have been chosen to receive SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund awards to help commercialize their innovative products and services. Winning companies are Ducted Wind Turbine, Hearth Labs, Hydronic Shell Technologies, and uvcPhyzx.
To learn more about the SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund or the Partner Program, contact Tammy Rosanio at

Healthy Buildings for People: Multi-scaled Approach for Improving Indoor Air Quality

This R&T forum introduced Carrier’s Healthy Building Program, and the important collaborative research with Syracuse University that will contribute to the design of risk mitigation and IAQ strategies – while considering effectiveness, cost and scale. These include multi-scale IAQ control strategies at building, room, personal and breathing-zone levels and consider outdoor ventilation, filtration systems, air distribution and cleaning methods, personal ventilation and masks. Presentations by Michael Birnkrant and Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang

SyracuseCoE Hosts DOE’s EnergyTech University Prize Again: Students Encouraged to Submit

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Technology Transitions recently launched the second round of the American-Made EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP). This innovative prize asks student teams to identify an energy technology, assess its market potential, and develop a strategy for commercialization. Student teams will have the opportunity to compete for a total of $370,000 in cash prizes as they present their plans to a panel of industry judges. Any interested students or faculty are encouraged to start following EnergyTech UP to stay up to date on submission deadlines, requirements, prize rules, and more.

Call for Proposals for Round 2 of the 2022 SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund

SyracuseCoE is accepting proposals for up to $10,000 from current and new Partners. The Innovation Fund is funded by member companies of the SyracuseCoE Partner Program to help companies overcome barriers in the process of commercializing potentially transformative innovations.
If you’re interested in joining the Partner Program, contact Tamara Rosanio at

Eric A. Schiff Steps Down After Leading SyracuseCoE through Unprecedented Times

Following more than two years of excellent service, Eric Schiff has stepped down from his role as interim executive director of SyracuseCoE, with the appointment of Jianshun “Jensen” Zhang as executive director. Prior to his position at SyracuseCoE, he was the chair of the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences and has been a professor of physics at Syracuse University since 1981. As he returns to his full-time position in the physics department, Schiff will continue serving as principal investigator on SyracuseCoE’s EPIC Buildings Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Innovation through Law: Importance of Early Stage Research

Learn more about the importance of early-stage research in the development of intellectual property and new technologies, as well as the IP, markets and regulatory assistance available from the Innovation Law Center to support companies in the EPIC Buildings regional cluster.

Opportunities in Decarbonizing Buildings through Controls and Electrification

Dr. Karma Sawyer, Director of the Electricity Infrastructure & Buildings Division at PNNL, discussed innovative approaches to controlling and optimizing smart, electric devices in buildings in coordination with the grid and distributed energy resources. These will facilitate the decarbonization of the power grid while ensuring resilience and reliability.

Winners Selected for the New York Tri-State Region EnergyTech University Prize Competition

15 student teams from the New York / Tri-State region competed in the Regional EnergyTech University Prize business plan competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Technology Transitions (OTT). The competition was hosted by SyracuseCoE, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and CenterState CEO’s CleanTech Center on February 18th.

Funding Opportunity Announcement – 2022 Faculty Fellows

Proposals are invited from faculty researchers for innovative research and development efforts in SyracuseCoE’s focus areas: clean and renewable energy, energy-efficiency and healthy buildings and water resources. Up to $25,000 is available. Faculty from academic partner institutions are encouraged to apply.

GEB 101: Concepts, Applications and Challenges

This presentation gives the basics of a Grid-Interactive Efficient Building (GEB) strategy, created by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), aiming to optimize across distributed energy resources (DERs) to advance the role buildings can play in energy system operations and planning.