Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame

Education and Outreach

While building strong research programs is a key component of the energy center, cSEND also creates education and outreach programs to strengthen the knowledge of its constituents. By collaborating with campus departments and community leaders to develop new programs and services, cSEND impacts education both on and off campus. These programs build community and lay the groundwork for future activities toward creating a more sustainable energy future for all. The current education and outreach programs sponsored by cSEND are highlighted below.


  • Energy Studies Minor:  This minor is administered by cSEND and is open to all undergraduate students in all majors and colleges at the University of Notre Dame. Students may choose a technical or nontechnical track of study. Other energy related minors at Notre Dame are the Energy Engineering Minor for undergraduate students in Engineering and the Minor in Sustainability for all undergraduate students in all majors and colleges.
  • RET—Research Experiences for Teachers: Engineering a More Sustainable Energy Future. Beginning in Summer 2012, area high school teachers and teachers from the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program participate in energy related research programs at Notre Dame and develop curriculum and projects for their students in the classroom. This three-year program is funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • Student Fellowships for Energy Related Research : cSEND offers competitive fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students to conduct energy related research at Notre Dame.
  • Moving the Classroom into the Lab: Undergraduate students from the “Physical Methods of Chemistry” class conducted research projects in the Materials Characterization Facility to help broaden their knowledge and enhance their research experience at Notre Dame. 


  • Outreach Opportunities for Faculty: Read about the many outreach opportunities in which cSEND faculty participate.
  • Outreach Opportunities for Notre Dame Graduate and Undergraduate Students: Read about the many outreach opportunities in which Notre Dame Graduate and Undergraduate Students participate.
  • Undergraduate Energy Research Expo: cSEND researchers are invited to present information regarding their energy-related research projects during a poster demonstration focused on matching undergraduate researchers with faculty who have openings within their labs.
  • Conferences:  Leading experts in energy research and education are invited to participate in conferences sponsored by cSEND.
  • Distinguished Lecture Series 2014: This series brings to campus nationally recognized academic, industrial, and government experts to discuss best practices, new technologies, and policy development in energy.
  • Energy Week 2013:  Mark your Calendars for Energy Week -- Sunday, September 29, to Saturday, October 5, 2013!  This annual event is sponsored by the cSEND Student Advisory Board and is designed to create awareness and educate students on critical energy related issues and topics.
  • Science Alive!: This local, annual event provides cSEND the opportunity to teach children in grades K-8 about energy-related issues and topics through hands-on demonstrations and activities. The 2013 Science Alive program was held on Saturday, February 2, at the St. Joseph County Public Library on Main Street in South Bend, Indiana. Eight research groups from the University of Notre Dame participated in cSEND’s Energy display, representing the laboratories of Dr. Brandon Ashfeld, Dr. Peter Burns, Dr. Haifeng Gao, Dr. Ken Henderson, Dr. Prashant Kamat, Dr. William Schneider, Dr. Eduardo Wolf, and Dr. Grace Xing. Topics included making more energy efficient polymers, the energy of different light wavelengths, catalysts, bending light to send signals, carbon dioxide is acidic, carbon dioxide can be captured, computer modeling of chemical compounds, and radioactivity. The cSEND Student Advisory Board demonstrated the basics of energy transformation, and helped with the AEP-provided Energy Bike, which demonstrates how much energy it takes to power different types of light bulbs.
  • Dorm Energy Competitions: Sponsored by various organizations, there are several energy competitions each year. Unplug your appliances, take the stairs, and cheer your dorm on to victory! Follow the dorm stats on the Energy Dashboard
  • Links to Energy Education Sites
  • Links to Other Resources on Sustainability
  • Career Development - Energy Career Workshop with Dayaway Careers: This website is geared toward college students looking for their first job opportunities in the field of renewable energy. There are also listings for internships, and the site includes company and job profiles. Mike Brownell, the founder of Dayaway Careers, has spoken at Notre Dame and will likely visit campus again.


Distinguished Lectures
Distinguished Lecture Series 2013
Distinguished Lecture Series 2012
Distinguished Lecture Series 2011
Distinguished Lecture Series 2010
Distinguished Lecture Series 2009
Distinguished Lecture Series 2008

Energy Week
Energy Week 2012
Energy Week 2011
Energy Week 2010
Energy Week 2009
Energy Week 2008
Energy Week 2007

Other Events
Switch documentary film, April 2013
2008 Notre Dame Forum on Sustainable Energy
2009 Events
2008 Events
2007 Events
2006 Events
2005 Events


A Strategic Research Initiative. What is SRI?