TJ Wojnar, President of the ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company, said that with this agreement ExxonMobil is looking to better understand potential breakthroughs outside of their core expertise and push the envelope in exploring innovations.
“Experience has taught us that it can take decades for innovations to move from the spark of an idea to implementation,” Wojnar said. “As an international energy company, we need to be watching for those sparks and understand their implications, whether they will impact the market today, tomorrow, or decades from now.”
Wojnar said that this new agreement connects the bright minds at both ExxonMobil and MIT. In doing so, he said we are “laying the groundwork for new innovations that can deliver efficient, scalable and responsible ways to bring affordable energy to global markets.”
MIT’s Vice President of Research, Maria Zuber, emphasized that the agreement would also open and expand young minds to new ideas through an ExxonMobil Energy Fellowship program. The new agreement allows 50 graduate students over five years to pursue research of their choosing – research, according to Zuber, “that furthers their education and training, and that furthers our common knowledge of the energy system as it exists today and the innovations that will make up our energy system of tomorrow.”
Zuber expressed confidence that these students, as well as the large numbers of other MIT students who have received ExxonMobil internships, scholarships, and fellowships over the years, are helping to make our energy systems more energy efficient and environmentally responsible.
MITEI Director Bob Armstrong hosted the signing ceremony and expressed his enthusiasm to begin working with ExxonMobil.
“ExxonMobil is filled with dedicated employees and creative thinkers who are pushing the limits when it comes to confronting our energy challenges,” Armstrong said. “When combining these minds with the cutting-edge innovators at MIT, I have no doubt that great achievements will result – achievements that will surely change the face of our energy future.”