The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany has been selected to receive a prestigious grant from the US Department of Energy (DoE) for pioneering research and education that will support the development of nanotechnology-enabled sensors and controls designed to sharply reduce emissions from fossil-fuel-based power plants. The $300,000 grant is awarded through the highly competitive University Coal Research Program, the DoE’s longest-running student-teacher research grant initiative, which is designed to advance new ideas to support near-zero emission power plants and train a new generation of scientists and engineers in the investigation of long-term solutions for clean and efficient use of the nation’s abundant coal resources. Michael Carpenter, assistant professor of Nanoengineering at CNSE, will lead the program, which is aimed at addressing the critical need to develop innovative controls and sensors that are compatible with the harsh environmental conditions found in leading-edge power plants. Carpenter and his team of graduate students will conduct research on the use of a plasmonics-based, all-optical sensing technique that utilizes tailored nanomaterials as a sensing layer, offering a novel approach to reducing emissions to near-zero levels amid extreme temperature and humidity – and one that is both simpler and less expensive than current sensor designs. CNSE was one of just six universities selected nationwide to receive grants under DoE’s University Coal Research Program, which has funded more than 700 projects involving nearly 1800 students since its inception in 1979.