Energy research is gaining importance nationally and globally. Political and industrial leaders have identified energy challenges as among the most pressing they face. Demand for energy, and particularly alternative energy, will only increase over the coming decades. This area of excellence will build upon existing strengths in four key areas of alternative energy research:
- Solar and thermoelectric energy harvesting
- Energy storage
- Energy efficiency in electronic systems
- Sensor development for energy resource management
Scholars in fields such as chemistry, mechanical engineering, computer science and materials science are contributing to this critical research. They are working to make solar power economically competitive. They are discovering ways to reduce and use the thermal energy generated by computers and other electronic devices. They are also contributing to new mechanisms for the storage and transmission of energy through high-capacity batteries, fuel cells, and ultra capacitors.
A new Smart Energy Research and Development Facility will foster new partnerships with industry and provide faculty members working in this area with cutting-edge labs, state-of-the-art classrooms and integrated outreach offices.
Committee membership includes: Peter Borgesen (systems science and industrial engineering), Steve Czarnecki (S3IP), Kanad Ghose (computer science), Wayne Jones (chair, chemistry), David Klotzkin (electrical and computer engineering), Bruce Murray (mechanical engineering), Jeffrey Pietras (geological sciences), Louis Piper (physics), Omuwunmi Sadik (chemistry), Bahgat Sammakia (vice president for research), Bruce White (physics), Stan Whittingham (chemistry and materials science) and N. Eva Wu (electrical and computer engineering).
The committee's work is supported by student intern Mary McGahay.