What is CAES?

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) is a research and education consortium between Boise State University, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho State University, University of Idaho, and University of Wyoming.


Who owns CAES?

The 55,000-square-foot building is owned by the state of Idaho. It is technically an Idaho State University facility. ISU’s staff maintains the building. The $17 million spent to build CAES came from several sources, including the state of Idaho; the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); and INL managing contractor Battelle Energy Alliance with its parent corporations Battelle Memorial Institute and URS Washington Division, which backed $10 million in bonds for the building.


Who runs CAES?

CAES is governed by a Steering Committee comprised of Vice Presidents of Research from each university consortium member and the CAES Director, Dr. Noel Bakhtian. Day-to-day operations are led by the Director, Associate Directors (Dr. Rich Christensen of University of Idaho, Dr. Amy Moll of Boise State University, Dr. Richard Jacobsen of Idaho State University, and Dr. Don Roth of University of Wyoming), and a professional operations crew comprised of representatives from each institution.

INL leases 68 percent of the building. The four universities each lease 8 percent.


Why was CAES built?

The concept for CAES actually dates back to 2004, when the Department of Energy was bidding the contract to run INL. Part of its strategic outline included creating a partnership between the lab and the state’s three research universities to promote collaboration. The idea originated with former Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, Bill Magwood.


What is the CAES mission and vision?

CAES is a public research center focused on collaboration that inspires innovation, fueling energy transitions and economic growth for the future.

The “4 E’s” vision drives CAES to:

Explore | Energy & Environmental Research

Educate | Energy & Environmental Education

Engage  | Apply Knowledge to Industry

Enable   | Energy Transitions & Economic Development


How does CAES work with industry?

The CAES industry portal, while serving national needs, focuses on regional businesses to drive economic growth. The portal facilitates industry access to CAES collective R&D capabilities (people, partners, facilities) that can strengthen regional and national industry competitiveness. Industrial partners gain a window into advanced energy studies research programs and core capabilities.

Learn more on the Industry page.



What kind of research does CAES conduct?

CAES’ research is focused on nuclear science and engineering; materials science and engineering; energy systems design, analysis and testing; carbon engineering; geological systems and applications; policy; and environmental and resources sustainability.

CAES activities advance regional and national competitiveness, security and quality of life through research, and demonstration related to advanced energy and environmental technology.


How is the research conducted at CAES different than at INL or the universities?

CAES is about the power of partnership – solving technical challenges as a team. Several CAES institutions working as a team can provide value in a way an individual CAES institution working alone cannot. The CAES consortium expands the competitiveness and impact of member research and enhances energy-related educational opportunities. CAES research and development involves the collaboration of at least two of its partners.


How is CAES funded?

CAES funding comes from a variety of stakeholders including the state of Idaho, the federal government through the DOE, and a variety of customers from private industry and government agencies.


Do I need to have an INL badge or security clearance to enter the building?

No, you do not. Because CAES is a state-owned building, visitors are not required to undergo the same screening as if they were entering an INL facility.


How do I submit a maintenance request or work order for the CAES main facility?

The Idaho Falls CAES facility is considered part of the University Place campus. Idaho State University maintains the CAES building. Click here to submit a maintenance request or work order/alteration for CAES.