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InventWood®, founded by Dr. Liangbing Hu, Herbert Rabin Distinguished Professor in the University of Maryland (UMD) Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and director of the Center for Materials Innovation, was recently announced as a recipient of a $20M SCALEUP award from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) innovation agency, Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E). With this award, UMD has received over $100M in ARPA-E funding (for 37 awards) since its inception in 2009, making it one of the top three universities in the country in ARPA-E funding and awards received.

On November 22, 2022, the Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm announced the award of $100M to fund eight clean energy technology projects that support President Biden’s goals to lower emissions through clean energy deployment, reduce dependence on imports of critical minerals, and secure the nation’s standing as a global leader of research and innovation. The selected projects, including the one InventWood is leading, will develop novel technologies that enhance existing clean energy infrastructure, such as aircraft electrification, rapid electric vehicle charging, and advanced floating offshore wind turbine technologies.

InventWood’s SCALEUP project will contribute to the decarbonization of buildings and enable them to store significantly greater amounts of carbon by scaling up a game-changing wood material, MettleWood®, that is 60% stronger than construction grade steel but 80% lighter, much less expensive, and far more sustainable. UMD professors Dr. Liangbing Hu and Dr. Ming Hu are co-PIs of this project.

MettleWood® is a high-value structural material invented by Dr. Liangbing Hu and his team at UMD. It is a highly suitable material for a range of purposes - from automotive to building construction to premium furniture. Specifically, MettleWood® offers numerous possibilities for deployment in the built environment including as a replacement for structural beams, columns, and connections that could ultimately result in reductions of 37.2 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years. It represents one of the few technologies with the potential to reduce steel and cement consumption and their associated carbon footprints.

For more information, please visit InventWood’s website:

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November 28, 2022

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