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O’Brien Energy Research Fund

Thanks to a generous gift from the estate of Albert O’Brien, the Energy Institute is able to provide seed funding to WVU energy researchers tackling critical issues regarding the future of energy.

In its first round of funding in 2017, the O’Brien Energy Research Fund funded six projects for a total of $250,000. Those projects have since generated an additional $3 million in external funding. The current round of 2018 funding is ongoing.

Register as a faculty affiliate for email updates on O'Brien funding announcements and other news.  Please direct any questions to Sam Taylor.


Applicants must be WVU faculty. Graduate students may serve as co-PIs as long as a WVU faculty member is leading the project.

The Institute’s current operations are centered on three primary goals as follows.

  • Goal A – Expand WVU‘s energy research to $60 million by 2025;
  • Goal B – Promote West Virginia energy-related development; and
  • Goal C – Elevate the West Virginia workforce through academic programs.

In this context – and among other requirements – applicants must clearly demonstrate how their proposed effort will promote one or more of the Energy Institute’s current operational goals.

About Albert O’Brien

Mr. O’Brien was a WVU alumnus with a degree in chemistry. He served in the Navy during World War II and was the Founder and President of United Resins of Pittsgove, New Jersey and on the Board of Directors of The Elmer Hospital. Mr. O’Brien passed away in 1992. United Resins is now known as U.S. Cast, Inc. and owned by Mr. O’Brien’s sister Margaret McCutcheon.