Shane Ardo selected for UCI’s Faculty Innovation Fellowship program

As a fellow, Ardo will have a platform he can use to pitch ideas to industry professionals, and take his climate change-related research mainstream.
Monday, February 01, 2021
Lucas Joel
UCI Physical Sciences Communications

Shane Ardo's group researches how to use solar energy to generate clean fuels, as well as the desalination of ocean water. 

Picture Credit:
Steve Zylius

Professor Shane Ardo of the UCI Department of Chemistry recently applied for and gained entry to the university’s Faculty Innovation Fellowship program, which, offered by UCI Beall Applied Innovation, aims to stimulate research collaborations, both within UCI and beyond. The distinction went to 18 new fellows this year, and Ardo hopes that, by being one of the program’s newest fellows, it’ll give him a platform he can use to pitch his research ideas to potential collaborators and funding agencies through Beall’s network of industry contacts. “Having this honor will give a little more credibility to the things that I do,” said Ardo. “I was really excited to have the opportunity to apply and be part of this program.” Ardo’s climate change-related research includes exploring ways to more efficiently generate fuels from sunlight and desalinate water, and, in work involving collaborators at Caltech, taking carbon-dioxide out of oceanwater where it’s currently driving the acidification of waters that, in turn, are already starting to wreak havoc on marine ecosystems by dissolving the shells of marine animals. Ardo also thinks that other research happening at Physical Sciences — like research into better, longer-lasting batteries in the UCI Department of Physics & Astronomy — is ripe for translation out of the lab, and that a program like this one can help scientists shepherd work that might have broad societal relevance into the mainstream. “Professors excel at performing research and publishing results, but fewer have the expertise and institutional support to guide discoveries to industry,” said Ardo. “Beall Applied Innovation and the Faculty Innovation Fellowship program provide this important need.”