Horiba Group Commits $9 Million to UCI for New Institute

Research to focus on better connectivity between transportation and energy sectors

Dignitaries at the UCI campus signing ceremony launching the new Horiba Institute for Mobility and Connectivity on Aug. 29 included Enrique Lavernia, provost & executive vice chancellor; Jai Hakhu, president & CEO, Horiba International Corp.; Chancellor Howard Gillman; Atsushi Horiba, chairman and group CEO, Horiba Group; Gregory Washington, dean, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering; Brian Hervey, vice chancellor, university advancement & alumni relations; and Scott Samuelsen, professor and director, Advanced Power and Energy Program. Steve Zylius / UCI

August 29, 2018 - Horiba Group, a leading global provider of analytical and measurement systems, has committed $9 million to the Advanced Power and Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine to establish the Horiba Institute for Mobility and Connectivity.

HIMAC will focus research and education efforts on combining formerly disparate energy and transportation sectors into an integrated and complementary system. Its faculty, staff and students will work to simultaneously address the environmental impacts of climate change and air quality, energy independence and security, and the affordability of fuel and electricity for consumers.

In addition to Horiba’s gift, UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor will provide funds for staffing and ongoing activities at the new entity.

“We are thrilled that Horiba has chosen to partner with UCI in establishing this transformative institute,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “HIMAC will be uniquely positioned to lead the reinvention of how we produce, distribute and use energy to improve peoples’ lives and protect the environment.”

Atsushi Horiba, chairman and CEO of Horiba Group, said: “We are delighted that our longstanding relationship with APEP and UCI has led to the creation of HIMAC, which will produce innovations for the betterment of the world community.”

HIMAC, which will be housed in UCI’’s Engineering Gateway building, shown here, will be a nexus of interdisciplinary research. Steve Zylius / UCIHIMAC scientists and engineers will pursue solutions to three grand challenges facing the future of energy and the environment. The first is to develop vehicles, fuel supply chains and mobility systems that emit no greenhouse gases or pollutants that cause smog, acid rain and other health hazards. Second is to connect zero-emission modes of transport with an electric grid that incorporates renewable wind and solar resources at a much higher level than exists today. Third is to invent the next generation of conveyances that can sense their surroundings, “talk” with one another and communicate with the infrastructure.

“APEP is at the forefront of the research into creating better, more efficient and environmentally sustainable transportation and energy production options,” said director Scott Samuelsen, UCI professor of mechanical & aerospace engineering. “Our efforts will be greatly enhanced by collaboration with Horiba, a major leader in the development of next-generation mobility technologies as well as instruments and equipment to support energy and environmental research.”

HIMAC, to be housed in a state-of-the-art facility in UCI’s Engineering Gateway building, will be a focal point of interdisciplinary research at the university, bringing together experts in engineering, physical sciences, information and computer sciences, social sciences and business. Specific areas of study will include electrochemistry, renewable fuels and energy storage.

“This institute is a prime example of industry and academia partnering to advance new technology for the benefit of consumers worldwide,” said Gregory Washington, Stacey Nicholas Dean of The Henry Samueli School of Engineering.

- Brian Bell / UCI