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University of Houston and Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University Forge Strategic Energy Alliance

By Rashda Khan 713-743-7587

The University of Houston (UH) and Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University (HWU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today, marking the beginning of their partnership to foster global collaboration in education, research and innovation in the energy sector and beyond.

University of Houston President Renu Khator, in a yellow suit with red rose, and Heriot-Watt University's Principal Richard Williams, with glasses in a grey suit, signing agreement.

The MOU being signed by Principal, Vice-Chancellor and Professor of HWU Richard A. Williams and UH President Renu Khator.


At the heart of the MOU lies a commitment to advance research that helps society deliver a just energy transition, with a particular emphasis on hydrogen – a critical element in the transition to sustainable energy solutions.

UH, a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university, boasts several energy-focused research centers. Located in Houston, home to more than 4,500 energy companies and a pivotal international oil and gas hub, UH is uniquely positioned to build on the area’s existing expertise and demonstrate solutions at scale.

Founded in 1821, HWU is a research-led university with active programs in clean energy and next generation energy technologies. It is a global university with campuses in Scotland, the UAE and Malaysia.

By leveraging each other's strengths and resources, UH and HWU aim to create transformative opportunities for students, faculty researchers and industry partners on both sides of the Atlantic.

"I am thrilled to witness the official celebration of our shared commitment to advancing transformative energy solutions,” said Ramanan Krishnamoorti, vice president for energy and innovation at UH. “Through this partnership, we aim to harness our collective expertise to address pressing energy challenges and drive sustainable innovation on a global scale." 

Professor Gillian Murray, deputy principal of business and enterprise at HWU, highlighted the significance of the partnership and its potential to propel scientific understanding.

“This agreement represents a pivotal milestone in the international development of our global research institutes, forging a new partnership to address the most pressing societal challenges that lie ahead,” Murray said.

At the signing we had (L to R): Deputy Principal Gillian Murray, Principal Richard Williams (both with HWU), President Renu Khator, Provost Diane Chase, and Vice President Ramanan Krishnamoorti (all with UH).

The MOU was signed by UH President Renu Khator and Principal, Vice-Chancellor and Professor of HWU Richard A. Williams.

The signing was followed by a two-day technology workshop with sessions conducted by faculty members from both institutions exploring key areas of collaboration and future projects, including making, transporting and storing hydrogen and molecular modeling. The event also included tours of various UH research labs.

With a shared vision of addressing global challenges and driving innovation, UH and HWU are poised to collaborate on various initiatives spanning interdisciplinary research, student exchange programs, joint degree offerings and industry partnerships. By joining together, the universities seek to amplify their impact and make meaningful contributions for the greater good.

Both institutions are home to a diverse student body, reflecting their commitment to fostering inclusive learning environments that nurture talent from all backgrounds and prepare them to be the leaders of the future. Through this partnership, they aim to further enhance their international reach and provide students with greater opportunities for cross-cultural exchange and experiential learning.

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