Spring 2012 Issue

Welcome to the Spring 2012 issue of the cSEND newsletter.  The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame is a University Research Center whose mission is to advance innovative energy-related research, education and outreach programs to address the global challenges of creating a more sustainable energy future. This issue highlights recent activities, funding, and research initiatives at Notre Dame that support the cSEND mission.

For more information about energy related research, education and outreach at Notre Dame, visit or contact cSEND Administration.

Research & News

Brennecke Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Joan F. Brennecke, the Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Director of cSEND, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for her innovation in the use of ionic liquids and supercritical fluids for environmentally benign chemical processing.  Read More


New Paper Examines Issues Raised by Fukushima Reactor Accident

Fukushima Daiichi

As the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi reactor accident is marked on March 11, a new paper by Peter C. Burns and colleagues from the University of Michigan and the University of California, Davis, stresses that we need much more knowledge about how nuclear fuel interacts with the environment during and after an accident. The paper, appears in the March 9 edition of the journal ScienceRead More

Notre Dame Researchers Develop Paint-on Solar Cells

This paste of cadmium sulfide-coated titanium dioxide nanoparticles could turn large surfaces into solar cells. (Photo Credit: ACS Nano)

Watch Video Video

Imagine if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home generates electricity from light—electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside.  A team of researchers, led by Prashant Kamat, at the University of Notre Dame has made a major advance toward this vision by creating an inexpensive solar paint to produce energy. Read More

Researcher Profile: Dr. Ruilan Guo
Dr. Ruilan Guo, a recently hired assistant professor, has wanted to be a scientist since she was very young.  She recalls being enchanted by the career because “scientists wear lab coats and goggles, making magic with beakers.”

Today, her fascination with science has matured, “It’s a place where you can make things; change things; find something new and make an impact.” Read More

Funded Proposals
Marya Lieberman, Chemistry and Biochemistry, awarded $462,781 for MRI: acquisition of x-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) by the National Science Foundation.

Eduardo Wolf, Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering, awarded $12,500 for catalytic nanodiode from the Naitonal Science Foundation; also from National Science Foundation $6,250 for GOALI: novel impregnated layer combustion synthesis for catalysts prepartion: hydrogen production from methanol.

Prashant Kamat, Radiation Laboratory, awarded $30,000 for UW CEMRI on Structure Interfaces from the University of Wisconsin.

Joan Brennecke, Brandon Ashfeld, Ed Maginn, Bill Schneider, Mark Stadtherr, Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, awarded $1,877,871 over three years from Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford University for their research on Chemically-Complexing Ionic Liquids for Pre-Combustion CO2 Capture.

SEI Seed Grants
A key activity of cSEND is to provide seed grants to Notre Dame faculty to support collaborative research endeavors to spur new, interdisciplinary approaches to solving the global, energy challenges. Since 2010, cSEND has provided more than $1M in support of new energy related research, primarily in the three thrust areas of the SEI – cleaner fossil, safer nuclear, and transformative solar. Each seed grant leverages a one-year, internal investment to develop multiple years of external funding for graduate and undergraduate research. Seed grants have resulted in increased publications, proposal submissions, and grant awards, which help to grow the energy research enterprise at Notre Dame. The twenty-five research projects funded through cSEND are listed below by research area. In the future, cSEND will expand this model to include other research areas.  See the links below to find out more about the projects.
Cleaner fossil grants
Nuclear grants
Transformative Solar grants

Education and Outreach

New cSEND Student Advisory Board
The new semester welcomes a new Student Advisory Board (SAB) and Associates for 2012.  The SAB works with cSEND in two main areas: to help develop and promote on- and off-campus education and outreach programs, and to help educate and create awareness about the most critical energy-related issues and topics facing us today.  Read More

cSEND Brings Energy to Science Alive!
The cSEND Student Advisory Board (SAB) hosted a booth for the first time at the Science Alive event held at the St. Joseph County Public Library in downtown South Bend. The SAB demonstrated various types of energy sources through hands on demonstrations.  Read More 

Undergraduate Energy Research Expo Matches Students with cSEND Research Opportunities 
This year marked the second annual Undergraduate Energy Research Expo.  This stream-lined process introduces undergraduate students to faculty who are actively seeking undergraduate help in their research labs.  Read More
Collaborative Forum Explores K-12 Education and Research
The Notre Dame extended Research Community (NDeRC) gathered education and research professionals for the fifth annual Collaborating for Education and Research Forum on Saturday Feb. 25 at the University of Notre Dame.  The event fosters interaction among K-12 teachers and administrators; university faculty, graduate students and staff; and local industry specialists in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Read More


Burns Lab Hosts Students from Mishawaka High School
In March,Peter Burns, Henry J. Massman Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, and Ginger Sigmon, managing director of the Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) , hosted 39 students from Mishawaka High School.  Read More

Lectures and Seminars
AVESTAR Center for Operational Excellence of Clean Energy Plants

Dr. Stephen E. Zitney, Ph.D., Director, AVESTAR Center (Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research) of the U.S. Department of Energy will speak Tuesday, May 1 from 3:30-4:30 in 155 DeBartolo Hall.  To address challenges in attaining operational excellence for clean energy plants, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has launched a world-class facility for Advanced Virtual Energy Simulation Training and Research (AVESTARTM). Read More

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Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame
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Notre Dame, IN 46556




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