University of Houston Creates Energy Transition Institute with
$10 Million Commitment from Shell

The University of Houston and Shell have formed a new partnership through a $10 million gift that helps complete the creation of a UH institute focused on transitioning the world’s energy resources into those that are more reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible. The largest single contribution from Shell to the University supports the new Energy Transition Institute (ETI), a center that will make UH the catalyst and leader in energy transition research. It will leverage the University’s existing talent in science, technology, engineering and math and — coupled with business, law and policy — will concentrate on systems integration and solution implementation.

With the help of Shell as a founding partner, ETI will focus on three areas vital to the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems to renewable sources: carbon management, hydrogen and circular plastics. In addition, the Institute plans to assist vulnerable communities affected by climate change and environmental impact through energy development. Social responsibility is a core tenet of the ETI and, among the goals UH set in 2021 as part of its strategic vision to become a Top 50 public research university.

Our fundraising campaign, the $100 Million Challenge for Chairs and Professorships,  helped establish the ETI through significant private support. In 2019, a generous philanthropist committed $50 million anonymously to challenge the University and the community to encourage new research and recruit the world’s most talented faculty. The $100 Million Challenge is a dollar-for-dollar matching opportunity to create endowed chairs and professorships in interdisciplinary areas that address major societal issues, including energy transition. Of the Shell gift, $4 million will be matched to establish two endowed chairs within the institute to support sustainable energy research in hydrogen.