Two companies founded by Texas Engineering faculty, researchers and alumni will join a new startup accelerator that aims to foster solutions to climate change issues, the latest sign of entrepreneurial momentum in the Cockrell School of Engineering.

TexPower and Celadyne Technologies will be two of the 50 climate innovation startups joining the first-ever cohort of Third Derivative, a joint venture of clean energy nonprofits Rocky Mountain Institute and New Energy Nexus. The two Cockrell startups were chosen from a pool of more than 600 applicants across 60 countries for Third Derivative’s Cohort 417 — named for last year's peak atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration of 417.1 parts per million recorded in May 2020.

TexPower was co-founded by Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering professor Arumugam Manthiram and researchers and mechanical engineering alumni Evan Erickson and Wangda Li. They formed the company to commercialize research focused on eliminating cobalt, an expensive and politically challenging element, from high-energy lithium-ion batteries that power personal electronics, electric vehicles and more.

Co-founded by new chair of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering Delia Milliron and researcher Gary Ong, Celadyne is developing technology to enhance hydrogen fuel cells, an alternative to batteries that convert hydrogen to electricity and power a variety of things.

“In the Cockrell School, our engineers are tackling some of the biggest problems facing the world today,” said Van N. Truskett, executive director of UT’s Texas Innovation Center. “TexPower and Celadyne have created promising energy technologies that will make a difference, and we’re excited to watch them grow.”