Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This issue of The Joule provides an overview of our activities in energy-related research and education over the past six months. Much of this work demonstrates what we believe is key to the mission of ND Energy and lays the foundation for our continued growth and development.

Over the next six months, we will be rolling out some new initiatives. These initiatives will be led by our newly appointed associate director, Dr. Subhash L. Shinde. You will have an opportunity to learn more about Subhash’s background and experience in the body of our newsletter. What is especially important for me is the opportunity that Subhash brings to ND Energy, enabling us to broaden our mission and provide the attention and services that are essential to addressing the needs of our global economy. These new ventures will focus on creating research initiatives with other universities in developing nations and building upon our current relationships with corporate sponsors and forming new bonds so we may become competitively successful in leading large-center grants.

As these new initiatives unfold, I will keep you apprised of the important details and matters of interest. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me, if you have any questions or would like to discuss these initiatives in more detail. 

I would like to express my sincere thanks to you and your team members for your continued support of ND Energy. It is obviously recognized and very much appreciated!

Peter C. Burns    
Director, Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy)

ND Energy Welcomes New Associate Director
We are pleased to welcome newly appointed associate director, Dr. Subhash L. Shinde, to the University of Notre Dame. Subhash will be leading the research initiatives for ND Energy, focusing on broadening and advancing our global energy research programs to the developing nations and strengthening corporate relationships. Read More

ND Energy Welcomes New Affiliated Faculty
The following faculty members have affiliated recently with ND Energy. Please join us in welcoming them to the ND Energy faculty team!

Kenneth Christensen is the Collegiate Professor of Fluid Mechanics, assistant dean of faculty development in the College of Engineering, and professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences. His research includes carbon capture and conversion and carbon sequestration.

Suman Datta is the Chang Family Chair Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. His research focuses on energy conversion and efficiency and smart distribution and storage.

Svetlana Neretina is an associate professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering with expertise in catalysis, hydrogen, and solar photovoltaics.

Faculty Awards and Recognitions
ND Energy congratulates the following affiliated faculty members on their recent awards and academic achievements.
  • Peter C. Burns, the Henry J. Massman Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences and director of ND Energy, has been selected by the Mineralogical Association of Canada as the recipient of the 2016 Peacock Medal for his outstanding contributions to mineral science in Canada.
  • Kenneth T. Christensen, the Collegiate Professor of Fluid Mechanics and assistant dean of faculty development in the College of Engineering, has been named the editor-in-chief for Measurement Science and Technology (MST), beginning January 2017.
  • Harindra Joseph Fernando, the Wayne and Diana Murdy Family Professor of Engineering, has been selected to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Dundee, a preeminent public research university in the United Kingdom based in the city and Royal burgh of Dundee, Scotland.
  • Bruce Huber, associate professor of Law, has been appointed The Robert and Marion Short Scholar, a three-year rotating appointment for pre-tenured faculty members.
  • Tengfei Luo, Dorini Family Collegiate Chair in Energy Studies, received this Endowed Faculty appointment by the College of Engineering.
  • Mark McCready, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering and professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is a recipient of The Joyce Award for the 2015-2016 academic year for his “exemplary work in undergraduate teaching and advising”.
  • William F. Schneider, the H. Clifford and Evelyn A. Brosey Professor of Engineering, received this Endowed Faculty appointment by the College of Engineering.
  • Antonio Simonetti, associate professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, has been granted the Citizen’s Award for Exceptional Service from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for his outstanding contributions and the integrity of his scientific and scholarly activities.
ND Energy Postdoctoral Fellowships
ND Energy has awarded fellowships to the following postdoctoral researchers in support of their professional development and research programs in energy.

Dr. Yi Shi (research advisor Dr. Haifeng Gao), Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Construct Dendritic Polymers with Layered Structures for Light Harvesting

Dr. Paul Rumbach (research advisor Dr. David Go), Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Understanding Pre-solvated Electrons and their Kinetics

Dr. Yaofa Li (research advisor Dr. Kenneth Christensen), Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Ensuring Long-Term Security of Stored CO2: Fundamental Studies of the Multiphase Flow of Water and Liquid/Supercritical CO2 in 2D Heterogeneous Porous Micromodels

Dr. Jarrod Schiffbauer (research advisor Dr. Tengfei Luo), Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Plasmonic Enhancement of Solar-thermal Water Desalination in a Functionalized Au-SiO2 Shell-core Nanoparticle-loaded Multi-layered Microporous Wick

ND Energy is especially proud to recognize former ND Energy Postdoctoral Fellows Dr. Guoliang Li and Dr. Ashish Sharma for their outstanding achievements and recent appointments to faculty positions.

Dr. Guoliang Li, associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Center for Electron Microscopy, at Tianjin University of Technology. Dr. Li will be using analytical electron microscopy to study nanomaterials that are related to new energy and nano-optics.

Dr. Ashish Sharma, research assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences and the Environmental Change Initiative at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Sharma will continue his research in atmospheric sciences and land/ocean-atmosphere interactions at a range of spatial scales (regional to local) that are relevant to the management of human and natural systems.

Student Awards and Recognitions
  • Christopher Shuck, postgraduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, received a Fulbright award to conduct research and study in Russia. The Fulbright is one of the oldest, most respected and most effective programs in the world for international student engagement.
  • Brian Keene, undergraduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which provides funding for research-based study leading to a master’s or doctoral degree in STEM.
Sustainable Energy Network
ND Energy held its inaugural meeting in September with the newly created Sustainable Energy Network, comprised of individuals from departments and centers on campus who are interested in sustainable energy issues and topics. The network was broadened to include greater campus representation to enhance University-wide capabilities and resources and promote joint collaborations for a greater impact on local, regional, national and international developments.
Proposals and Awards 
Proposals and awards in energy-related research are important measures for ND Energy and help us to understand the impact faculty and associated researchers are having on the creation of new technologies and developments in affordable and sustainable energy solutions.
PROPOSALS CY2016 through September        AWARDS CY2016 through September
42 Total $20.8M        29 Total $7.8M
  73% affiliated with ND Energy $15.2M   91% affiliated with ND Energy $7.1M
24 < $500K $5M        27 < $500K $4.9M
13 =/> $500K - < $1M $8M          1 =/> $500K - < $1M $585K
 5 =/> $1M $8M          1 =/> $1M $2.4M

Annual research funding for the University reached $128M for fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). This was the second highest in history, with FY2015 being the all-time high at $133M. Read More

Research Projects
The following new research projects represent a sampling of the energy-related research at Notre Dame that focus on the future of sustainable energy production and use and technological advancements in sustainable energy solutions.

Jay LaVerne joins U.S. Department of Energy “Dream Team” to aid in Nuclear Waste Cleanup
Dr. Jay LaVerne, professional specialist at the Radiation Laboratory and concurrent professor of Physics, has joined a “dream team” of experts to study the chemical reactions that cause nuclear waste to change over time, with the goal of identifying safe, permanent storage for the radioactive material. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Jay will work with others as part of a $12M Energy Frontier Research Center, IDREAM (Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials), led by Sue Clark, a researcher at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. Read More

Innovative Wind Turbine Tower Design Could Reduce Costs and Change Energy Landscape
Through a seed grant funded by ND Energy, Yanlin Guo, former ND Energy Postdoctoral Fellow, and co-advisors Yahya Kurama, professor and associate chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences (CEEES) and Ahsan Kareem, Robert M. Moran Professor of CEEES, are working together to design a non-traditional structure for wind turbines that will both increase efficiencies and decrease energy costs. Read More
Plasma Electrochemistry: Transforming Greenhouse Gases
David Go, associate professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and his research team are working to reutilize potent greenhouse gases, thereby producing clean burning fuels for vehicles while simultaneously reducing the overall carbon footprint of the transportation sector. Read More

Nanoparticles with a Big Environmental Impact
Jon Camden, associate professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and affiliated faculty member of ND Energy and Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics, is researching how to harness the sun’s heat absorbed by the plasmonic nanoparticles and conduct it to create energy. Read More

Notre Dame Researchers Find Transition Point in Semiconductor Nanomaterials
The laboratory of Masaru Kuno, professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the condensed matter theory group of Boldizsár Jankó, professor of Physics, are working together to demonstrate that electronic interactions play a significant role in the dimensional crossover of semiconductor nanomaterials. Read More

Clues in Ancient Mud Hold Answers to Climate Change
From the depths of Lake Malawi, Melissa Berke, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, has uncovered evidence that offers new insights into a long-held theory about Africa’s climate history. Read More

Materials Characterization Facility (MCF)
New Instrumentation Coming Soon
The MCF will be adding three advanced tools to its existing suite of twenty instruments. The addition includes two Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs), capable of imaging materials on the atomic scale, and an imaging Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, which is capable of materials imaging and identification down to a 10 micrometer spatial resolution. The MCF is a shared use facility available to all researchers, both internal and external. For inquiries, contact Dr. Ian Lightcap (, ND Energy’s Research and Facilities Program Director, or visit to see the full list of instruments.

The Magic of Science
The fifth graders at STARBASE Middle School were captivated by Dr. Ian Lightcap as he talked with them about recent advancements in science and technology and how these advancements would seem like magic to people from only a few generations ago. As part of the lesson, students were able to examine an old telegraph transmitter and a new solar cell that was made in the Kamat lab at Notre Dame. STARBASE is a Department of Defense Youth Program and exposes hundreds of local fifth graders to technological environments and positive civilian and military role models. Located at the South Bend Armory, students actively participate in STEM activities designed to pique their curiosity and excite them about related topics.

Indiana Energy Association Annual Conference
The Indiana Energy Association (IEA) invited ND Energy to its annual conference to present some of the exciting technological advancements happening in the research labs at Notre Dame. During the two-day conference, Dr. Ian Lightcap highlighted the research programs in batteries, carbon capture, storage, conversion, nuclear fuel recycling, nuclear forensics, solar, and wind. Conference participants were executives from utility companies, regional and national experts in energy policy, and state environmental and energy administrators and regulators. 
Education and Outreach
Growing the Energy Studies Minor
The largest cohort of Energy Studies Minors (ESM) in the five-year history of the program was the 18 undergraduate students who graduated this past May with the Class of 2016. The challenge moving forward is to continue growing course offerings at the same rate as students’ interest in energy. This effort will be boosted by the new University of Notre Dame Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy announced by Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. on September 20, 2016. Read More

Careers in Energy: Finding a New Direction through ND Energy
Looking back at her senior year as a member of ND Energy’s Student Energy Board (SEB), Marlena Fernandez ’17 feels that her involvement changed the direction of her life. As an underclassman working toward a career in civil engineering, she knew she cared a lot about the environment, but wasn’t sure which path would enable her to make the biggest difference. After her involvement with SEB, Marlena has developed a more focused passion for energy as a major factor in working toward a more sustainable future. Read More

Summer Outreach
Upon returning in the fall, Notre Dame students often ask professors and staff if they have had an enjoyable and relaxing summer. At ND Energy, we remind students that we operate year-round and for us, summer means open classrooms and people with more time to learn about energy. The summer of 2016 included interactions with alumni returning for reunion weekend, bringing area teachers into energy labs on the Notre Dame campus as part of the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program, encouraging young scholars from the TRiO program to pursue careers in STEM, and combining art and energy research in a project for the Art2Science summer camp. Next summer should be no different.
ND Energy engages area schools from third graders at Madison Primary Center in South Bend to high school students from Mishawaka High School to teachers from the Michiana area, all to promote STEM education and careers in engineering. This past summer, area high school teachers were brought into Notre Dame’s research labs to experience lab work first hand. This research experience for teachers has been administered by ND Energy for the past five years, enabling participants to develop new curriculum for their classrooms. Read More

Future Outreach Initiatives
ND Energy’s interaction with South Bend area schools and programs is well established, but as the center’s vision seeks to expand, so does our outreach footprint. At the present time, several initiatives with the Notre Dame Alumni Association will enable us to inform a broader audience about our energy research. Read More

Energy Week
The annual Notre Dame Energy Week has been a signature event for ND Energy since the program was first held in 2007. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Energy Week was held October 3-7 and, once again, was filled with programs and activities that focused on raising awareness of the most critical energy issues facing us today. This year was especially meaningful, as it gave cause to reflect upon a decade of raising awareness and supporting the research programs in energy at Notre Dame. For an historical overview of Energy Week, including the 2016 events, Read More  


Distinguished Lectures and Sponsorships
ND Energy supports technical and non-technical educational programs for our faculty and students and welcomes the opportunity to co-sponsor programs with other departments and centers and institutes on campus. Highlighted below are the programs that were recently held.

October 4 – A Solar Panel: Making Solar Power a Reality – Randall Ellingson, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, faculty member of the Wright Center for Photovoltaic Innovation and Commercialization, The University of Toledo; Nicholas Strevel, Senior Manager of Module Technology at First Solar; and Joseph Karrasch, Manager of Asset Investments/Renewables at American Electric Power (co-sponsored by the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Notre Dame and the Department of Chemistry at Notre Dame)

October 5 – Evolving Notre Dame’s Energy Infrastructure: A Diversified Approach to SustainabilityPaul Kempf, Senior Director of Utilities and Maintenance, University of Notre Dame

November 14 – Got Married, Bought Solar: Which Was the Bad Decision – George Howard, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology, University of Notre Dame (co-sponsored by the Department of Psychology)

April 14 Greenhouse Gas Awareness Day – Students and faculty came together to delve deeper into the issues related to greenhouse gas emissions by bringing forward the ethical, political, and social implications through talks and guided discussions. 

August 5EdTech in the Bend – Riley High School explored what it would be like to have a fully “tech-based” school and various opportunities for high school teachers to incorporate new technology into their classrooms by replacing textbooks with online books and other activities. 

September 72nd Annual CBE Graduate Research Symposium – Organized by the graduate students in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, the symposium provided a venue for students to showcase their research projects focusing on energy and sustainability, simulation and theory, and bioengineering.

September 30 – October 1Women in Science Regional Conference – Organized by the Association for Women in Science, graduate students in the College of Science presented research posters and listened to talks presented by external speakers about their experiences as women in science.

View previous newsletters:
Spring 2016
Fall 2015
Spring 2015
Fall 2014
Spring 2014
forward to a friend 

Contact Us:

Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame
115 Sinson-Remick Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Copyright © 2016
Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame, All rights reserved.


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
ND Energy · 115 Stinson-Remick Hall · Notre Dame, IN 46556 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp