A New Innovation for CSUB


Renderings of new Energy Innovation Center scheduled to be constructed at CSUB south of Science III building – images provided by Jennifer Self

Adeli Arvizu, News Reporter

California Gov., Gavin Newsom, incorporated $83 million in funding for the creation of CSU Bakersfield’s Energy Innovation Center on Jan.10 in his 2022-23 budget summary. 

“It will house the engineering programs and the physics program as well as the California Energy Research Center (CERC)…,” said the interim dean of the school, Todd McBride.  

Furthermore, he stated the building will be the location for the School of Natural Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Grants, and Outreach. With the inclusion of multiple research and teaching labs for faculty and staff.  

He explained that it is hoped the center becomes not only a place of research for energy for the Southern San Joaquin Valley but for it to reach recognition as a national research facility for the state of California. A goal for the center is to research environmentally friendly methods for the utilization of energy. They also aspire to discover new findings that can help with the effort in energy research.  

The Energy Innovation Center will focus on a broad array of energy-related issues under the umbrellas of petroleum, solar, wind, and water,” Geology department chair, Anthony Rathburn, wrote in an email.  

He stated that research will also be focused around trying to limit or reduce the carbon dioxide that goes into the environment and more topics such as water contamination, the efficiency of energy production, biofuels etc. 

 The center will provide opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers within science, engineering, economics, business, and other potentially researched subjects to gain experience and carry out research of their own. Rathburn goes on to write that the Innovation Center will also allow the community to learn more about the resources they utilize every day in the Central Valley and other matters associated with energy. 

According to McBride, the building is set to be located in between the Science III building and the Student Health Service building. He went on to say that although the location of the building is known, there are still a lot more details and planning that must be arranged before being able to begin the actual construction of the project.  

The research center may provide many opportunities for students, staff, and the community, however funding for the project is still a must for it to happen.  

It is also important to keep in mind that the governor’s proposed budget will first have to go through a legislative approval process before it becomes a reality,” wrote Rathburn. 

Fundraising is an ongoing process and if anyone is interested in donating money for the support of the Energy Innovation Center, they can visit CSUB’s website at give.csub.edu. 

“We are excited about this project, so we definitely want to share it with everybody,” said McBride with a smile.