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 also 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. 


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.

Thomson Reuters names three Notre Dame faculty among the world’s most influential scientific minds

July 21, 2014

Thomson Reuters The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014

University of Notre Dame faculty members Joan Brennecke, Bertrand Hochwald and Prashant Kamat have been named to Thomson Reuters’ list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014.”

The list includes more than 3,200 scientists around the world who have published the highest number of articles that are cited the most frequently by other researchers. The list was compiled from two separate Thomson Reuters studies analyzed for publication and citation data from 21 broad fields of study, ranging from chemistry to social sciences.

Heino Nitsche Dies Unexpectedly

July 16, 2014 • Categories: Annual Report


It is with tremendous sadness that we report the death of chemistry professor, Heino Nitsche (member of the Center’s Technical Advisory Board since 2011), who died unexpectedly the morning of July 15. Born July 24, 1949 in Munich, Germany, Heino earned his Ph.D. in 1980 at the Free University of Berlin and joined the University of California at Berkeley

View Archives


FILM: Crude: The Real Price of Oil

Wed Sep 17, 2014 • 7:00PM - 9:30PM

The inside story of the infamous “Amazon Chernobyl” case, Crude is a real-life high stakes leg...

Read More

A Strategic Research Initiative. What is SRI?