Energy and Sustainability

We’re working toward a more sustainable world—from cleaner energy to safer water supplies to carbon-footprint-reducing manufacturing and everything in between.

No single discovery will solve the world’s energy problems—it’s going to take big-picture thinking that is simultaneously focused on advancing the individual components of a more sustainable energy system and exploring how those pieces best fit together for a more optimized whole. 

We’re making advances all over the energy map—from building offshore wind farms to improving the reliability and affordability of photovoltaic technology to developing sun-powered cars to pioneering new materials for more cost-effective flow batteries. And we’re taking these discoveries a step further by integrating these critical components together in the bigger energy picture, even using our own campus as a living test-bed for smart grid integration. 

And our sustainability efforts stretch beyond energy—we’re developing advanced mathematical models to help cities keep their water supplies safe, pioneering radical new sustainable materials and finding ways to manufacture more efficiently and at lower costs. 

Centers and institutes that conduct research in Energy and Sustainability

Solar Panel and Sunflower

SDLE Center

Studies solar photovoltaic and other outdoor exposed technologies using degradation science, data science and analytics.

Faculty who conduct research in Energy and Sustainability

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Alexis Abramson

Interim Department Chair, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Milton and Tamar Maltz Professor of Energy Innovation
Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Director, Great Lakes Energy Institute

Uncovers innovative solutions in energy, including smart materials for thermal management and software for virtual building efficiency audits

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Rohan Akolkar

F. Alex Nason Chair and Ohio Eminent Scholar for Advanced Energy Research
Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering

Develops new electrochemical processes for applications including nano-material fabrication, energy storage, electrometallurgy and sensors

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Eric Baer

Distinguished University Professor
Herbert Henry Dow Professor of Science and Engineering
Professor, Macromolecular Science and Engineering
Director, NSF Center for Layered Polymeric Systems

Develops processing-structure-property relationships in polymeric systems; creates micro- and nano-layered films; and produces biomimetic hierarchical structures of soft materials

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R Balasubramaniam

Research Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Enables the development and understanding of thermal and fluid systems to advance space exploration

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Jennifer Carter

Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Develops experimental and analytical techniques to guide, inform and validate physics-based models of material behavior

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Mark De Guire

Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Analyzes performance of ceramics in energy applications, including fuel cells and oxygen transport membranes

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Frank Ernst

Department Chair, Materials Science and Engineering
Leonard Case Jr. Professor of Engineering
Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Faculty Director, Swagelok Center for Surface Analysis of Materials

Studies and engineers microstructures, interfaces and surfaces of metallic materials by novel methods of processing and microcharacterization

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Roger French

Kyocera Professor
Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Applies data science and analytics to energy and materials science research problems

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Mario Garcia-Sanz

Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Bridges the gap between advanced control theory and energy, industrial and space applications

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Burcu Gurkan

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Designs, develops and investigates ionic liquid based electrochemical systems for energy, environmental sciences and sensors

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Uday Hegde

Research Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Develops supercritical water oxidation technologies for waste management and water reclamation for extended duration space missions

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YeongAe Heo

Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering

Promotes the resilience of structural systems and communities against natural and man-made hazards

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Mingguo Hong

Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Develops control and optimization strategies for modern electric power systems

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Yasuhiro Kamotani

Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Designs and conducts two-phase flow experiments for space stations

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Olga Kartuzova

Research Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Studies and develops computational models for cryogenic storage tanks, and investigates zero boil-off tanks

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Mohammad Kassemi

Research Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Researches microgravity fluid physics and combustion research, including ZBOT, cryogenic fluid management, propellant tank models and gravity’s impact on systems

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Yue Li

Associate Professor, Civil Engineering

Designs and improves resilient buildings and infrastructure

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Ya-Ting Liao

Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Creates computational models of combustion, fire and fire behavior and develops fire-resistant structures

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Vincenzo Liberatore

Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Conducts research in real-time sensor-actuator networks, and develops electricity market simulators for educational workshops

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Wei Lin

Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Creates modeling, estimations and advanced control techniques for smart grid and power systems

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Kenneth Loparo

Nord Professor of Engineering
Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Faculty Director, Institute for Smart, Secure and Connected Systems

Develops real-time data analytics and control algorithms for industrial, energy and physiological systems

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Ica Manas-Zloczower

Distinguished University Professor
Thomas W. and Nancy P. Seitz Professor of Advanced Materials and Energy
Professor, Macromolecular Science and Engineering

Engineering new materials and technologies for industrial applications

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David Matthiesen

Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
Director, Wind Energy Research and Commercialization (WERC) Center

Develops process engineering solutions for the manufacturing of new magnetic materials

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Jim McGuffin-Cawley

Interim Dean, Case School of Engineering
Arthur S. Holden Professor of Engineering
Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Develops new methodologies for material processing, characterizes processing-property relationships, studies high-temperature diffusion and solid-state reactions, fosters industry-university relationships

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Mike Pollino

Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering

Examines performance of structural systems and components subjected to loading and develops design approaches for resilience and sustainability

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Vikas Prakash

Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Engineers lithium-metal batteries, designs carbon nanomaterial composites for aerospace applications, and develops characterization techniques form materials subjected to multi-axial thermo-mechanical extremes

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Julie Renner

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering

Works at the interface of protein engineering and electrochemistry to enable a new generation of advanced technologies

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Kurt Rhoads

George B. Mayer Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Studies
Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering

Engineers environmental water, wastewater and energy processes using biotechnology

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Bob Savinell

George S. Dively Professor in Engineering
Distinguished University Professor
Professor, Chemical Engineering

Develops high-performance electrochemical energy conversion and storage technologies through fundamental and applied studies of interfacial and transport processes

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Alp Sehirlioglu

Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Develops new materials through exploitation of interfaces to control functionality and exploration of multi-functionality for energy-related applications

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Fumiaki Takahashi

Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Develops fire safety technologies and investigates combustion phenomena for practical applications

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Jim Tien

Leonard Case Jr. Professor of Engineering
Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Researches the effect of gravity on combustion and flammability of solid materials with applications in space exploration

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Jesse Wainright

Research Professor, Chemical Engineering

Develops novel electrochemical systems for grid-level energy conversion and storage

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Matthew Willard

Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Investigates phase transformations and materials processing, especially their impact on structure and properties of materials

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Bill Yu

Professor, Civil Engineering

Advances geosystems, infrastructure and geotechnical engineering with expertise in smart and multifunctional materials and multi-scale multiphysics processes

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Chris Yingchun Yuan

Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Researches manufacturing science and sustainability improvement of lithium-ion batteries, solar cells and nanotechnologies

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Xiangwu Zeng

Department Chair, Civil Engineering
Frank H. Neff Professor
Professor, Civil Engineering

Develops geotechnical solutions for earthquake design, space exploration, wind turbines and vibration attenuation

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Huichun (Judy) Zhang

Examines fate and transformation of environmental contaminants in natural and engineered environments and develops advanced water/wastewater treatment technologies

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Lei Zhu

Professor, Macromolecular Science and Engineering

Develops high-energy and high-performance polymers based on close relationships among structure, property and processing