Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame



The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) is a University Research Center whose mission is to foster and grow energy related research towards sustainable and affordable energy solutions, support energy related education and outreach throughout the Notre Dame and surrounding communities, and influence the national and global discussions of the most pressing energy policy issues and questions of our time. ND Energy plays a pivotal role in developing new and improved energy technologies and systems and focuses on developing engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and social scientists to be leaders in their disciplines and literate in the systems of energy production and use.

To support scientific advancements and new or improved sustainable energy technologies and systems, ND Energy provides world-class research facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation. The Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) provides researchers with modern instrumentation and expertise for solid and liquid materials characterization by surface and thermal analysis and spectroscopic and spectrometric analytical methods, in-situ synthetic studies of complex actinide materials containing trans uranium elements, and developing new functional materials engineered at the nanoscale to effectively capture solar radiation, interfaced with materials that can use that energy to drive useful chemical reactions.

ND Energy is built upon the foundations laid by the Notre Dame Energy Center (NDEC), a College of Engineering research center, founded in 2005 by Joan F. Brennecke, The Bernard Keating-Crawford Chair in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and the Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI), a Strategic Research Investment, funded by the University in 2010. These two entities have been integrated into ND Energy, which now serves as the umbrella organization for these and other energy related research and education programs at Notre Dame.

Since July 2014, Peter C. Burns, The Henry J. Massman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, and concurrent professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been named center director and will continue the tradition of strong leadership that was established by Joan Brennecke in 2005. An accomplished researcher and administrator, Dr. Burns has served since 2009 as director of the Department of Energy funded, and recently renewed, Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) Materials Science of Actinides. He is joined by Ginger E. Sigmon, who has been named the managing director of ND Energy. 


Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index honors unique climate-linked projects

September 26, 2014

ND-GAIN's 2014 Corporate Adaptation Prize

In Senegal, efforts to counter the effects of rising sea levels and ocean storms have produced a dike that reclaims hundreds of acres of land for rice. A seawall protects homes, and beach restoration is saving thousands of tourist-related jobs. In India, Indonesia, Kenya and Vietnam, a unique social venture called “Healthy Family” helps address barriers to health care access such as the limited distribution of medicines.

Notre Dame reports highest level of research funding in a non-stimulus year

September 22, 2014

Lab research

The University of Notre Dame received $113 million in research awards for fiscal year 2014, the highest ever recorded at the University in a non-stimulus year and a $17 million increase over the previous year.

Notre Dame received $119 million in 2010, but approximately $30 million was from government stimulus grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

JINA Art 2 Science Camp Highlights

August 20, 2014 • Categories: cSend


Check out the highlights of the 2014 Art 2 Science Camp sponsored by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics at the University of Notre Dame. 

During the JINA Art 2 Science Camp from July 14-18, 2014 in the Jordan Hall of Science, over 175 children learned about the wonders of the physical universe and used their creativity to express their new knowledge by creating art and hands-on experiments.…

Notre Dame paper offers insights into a new class of semiconducting materials

August 13, 2014

Organic-inorganic “hybrid” perovskites

A new paper by University of Notre Dame researchers describes their investigations of the fundamental optical properties of a new class of semiconducting materials known as organic-inorganic “hybrid” perovskites.

ND-GAIN seeking applications for Corporate Adaptation Prize

July 24, 2014


The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN) at the University of Notre Dame is accepting applications for the ND-GAIN Corporate Adaptation Prize, which recognizes organizations that have made measurable contributions in creating resilience or adaptation to climate change.

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Energy Seminar: The Materials Science Center at NREL: Multiscale Materials Design for the Nation’s Clean Energy Future

Wed Oct 1, 2014 • 4:00PM - 5:00PM


Dr. Nancy Haegel (ND '81)
Center Director, Materials Scien...

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Energy Week Quad Display

Mon Oct 6, 2014 • 10:00AM - 2:00PM


ENERGY WEEK kicks off with a Quad Disp...

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A Strategic Research Initiative. What is SRI?