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Notre Dame Researchers Examining Electric Vehicles and the Power Grid

December 20, 2012


As plug-in electric vehicles become an ever more central part of America’s daily life, University of Notre Dame researchers are anticipating what that development will mean for the nation’s power grid.

Under funding from the National Science Foundation’s Cyber-Physical Systems Program, a research group is attempting to develop mathematical algorithms to help guide the integration of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) into the power grid.…

Ten Notre Dame faculty members named AAAS fellows

November 30, 2012

Ten University of Notre Dame faculty members have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in honor of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.

AAAS, founded in 1848 as a nonprofit association, is the world’s largest scientific society and publisher of the prestigious journal Science

Notre Dame Research Could Improve Sustainability and Cost-effectiveness of Wastewater Treatment

November 16, 2012

University of Notre Dame researcher Robert Nerenberg can tell you many things you might not know about wastewater treatment plants, including their significant carbon footprint, energy demands and chemical costs. His past research has addressed ways to drastically improve the energy efficiency of wastewater treatment. He now is telling the wastewater treatment industry about his promising new line of research that has the capability of significantly decreasing chemical costs and carbon footprint.…

Notre Dame Hosts Sixth Annual Energy Week

September 19, 2012


The University of Notre Dame will host its sixth annual Notre Dame Energy Week Sept. 23-27 (Sunday-Saturday) at various campus locations.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame

Irish and US academics talk energy and future challenges at Science Gallery in Dublin

August 31, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

Irish and US academics talk energy and future challenges at Science Gallery in Dublin

Irish and US academics talk energy and future challenges at Science Gallery in Dublin

Notre Dame to celebrate academics, faith and tradition during Dublin game

August 21, 2012 • Categories: SEI


When the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame meet the Midshipmen of Navy on Sept. 1 (Saturday) at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, it will be the latest installment in a long American football tradition for the two institutions.

The visit also will celebrate Notre Dame’s enduring Irish heritage and its modern-day engagement in Ireland, highlighted by an array of events that will bring a taste of the University’s educational, intellectual, faith and cultural mission to its host country, and offer thousands of visiting fans opportunities to learn about, explore and enjoy Ireland.

Energy week to put focus on efficiency, cost savings

August 13, 2012 • Categories: Annual Report and ND Energy

Past the "hippie talk" of sustainability and green and climate change and complicated calculations of environmentalism, the South Bend Municipal Energy Office's first Energy Week next month focuses on something everybody understands.

Ian Lightcap Receives Outstanding Graduate Student Award

July 26, 2012 • Categories: Annual Report, ND Energy, and SEI

Ian Lightcap Receives Outstanding Graduate Student AwardIan Lightcap, a former graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has won the prestigious Rohm & Haas Outstanding Graduate Student Award in 2012 for his thesis research. This award is made in recognition of his exceptional productivity in research.…

Schmid recognized for manufacturing contributions

July 18, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy and SEI

Steven Schmid Steven Schmid

Steven R. Schmid, associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, has been named an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation Swanson Fellow and assistant director for research partnerships in the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO), which is hosted at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The Swanson Fellowship is designed to provide a unique opportunity for experienced engineers to serve in the federal government. Selected fellows, such as Schmid, devote a year of work and research, providing technical advice to policymakers in Congress and various executive branch offices and agencies. In this way each fellow can apply his or her expertise toward solutions to technical issues. In short, a Swanson Fellow engages with professionals in the public policy arena to make practical contributions on the most effective use of engineering in federal decision-making while strengthening his or her understanding of the intricacies of policymaking.

Takach named managing director of Notre Dame’s cSEND

June 20, 2012 • Categories: Annual Report, ND Energy, and SEI

Stephen F. Takach

The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (cSEND) has named Stephen F. Takach managing director, effective July 1.

In addition to his oversight of the business and operational functions of cSEND, his responsibilities will include growing and strengthening the University’s energy-related research, education and outreach across campus and on a national level. He will also work with faculty on large multi-investigator grant applications; work to augment research funding; foster high-quality, high-impact scholarly contributions, including seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences; promote business development with industrial sponsors and partners; and develop relationships with energy-related governmental agencies and industrial enterprises on the state and national levels.

New research leads to sensors that detect contaminants in water

June 07, 2012

Electron hopping (Kamat laboratory)

Many organic contaminants in the air and in drinking water need to be detected at very low-level concentrations. Research published by the laboratory of Prashant V. Kamat, the John A. Zahm Professor of Science at the University of Notre Dame, could be beneficial in detecting those contaminants.

The Kamat laboratory uses Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy to make use of silver nanoparticles to increase the sensitivity limit of chemical detection. Researchers in this study have prepared a semiconductor-graphene-metal film that has distinct advantages: The absorption of organic molecules on the film’s graphene surface increases the local contaminant concentration adjacent to silver nanoparticles.

Graphene-based terahertz devices: The wave of the future

May 11, 2012

(Nanowerk News) People use electromagnetic energy every day … watching television, listening to the radio, popping corn with a microwave, taking an X-ray or using a cellphone. This energy travels in the form of waves, which are widely used in electronic and wireless devices.
One of the hottest areas of the electromagnetic spectrum being explored today is the terahertz (THz) range. Terahertz waves, lying between microwave and optical frequencies, offer improved performance for a variety of applications in everyday life. For instance, THz waves can carry more information than radio/microwaves for communications devices. They also provide medical and biological images with higher resolution than microwaves, while offering much smaller potential harm of exposure than X-rays.

Paul Bohn named 2012 spectroscopy fellow

May 10, 2012


Paul W. Bohn, the Arthur J. Schmitt Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, director of the Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics initiative and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy

EWiND facility aimed at improvements in wind energy

May 10, 2012

A wind turbine and a meteorological tower recently erected on the University of Notre Dame’s White Field are a highly visible symbol of the University’s commitment to establish a premier wind energy research program.

Thomas Corke

Unique research laboratory focuses on making aircraft engines more efficient

April 30, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

Jet engine

Travel on airlines has become so routine for most of us, we often fail to appreciate what a true technological marvel it is. And it’s a costly and noisy marvel. Moving millions of passengers millions of miles each year requires an astounding amount of costly jet fuel and generates a significant amount of engine noise.

That helps explain why the companies that manufacture aircraft engines often find their way to the laboratory of Scott Morris, an associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

Developing more energy-efficient transistors through quantum tunneling

March 27, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

Midwest Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame and Pennsylvania State University have announced breakthroughs in the development of tunneling field-effect transistors (TFETs), a semiconductor technology that takes advantage of the quirky behavior of electrons at the quantum level.

Transistors are the building blocks of the electronic devices that power the digital world, and much of the growth in computing power over the past 40 years has been made possible by increases in the number of transistors that can be packed onto silicon chips.

But that growth, if left to current technology, may soon be coming to an end.

More than tree hugging: Green companies earn more 'green,' new study shows

March 27, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy


Using LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings increases revenue generated by bank branches even when they offer the same products and services, according to a new study co-authored by University of Notre Dame management professors Edward Conlon and Ante Glavas.

In their study of 562 PNC branches (93 LEED, 469 non-LEED), “The Relationship between Corporate Sustainability and Firm Financial Performance,” Conlon and Glavas found that PNC employees who work in LEED-certified branches are more productive and engaged in their work.

Although they’re not yet certain if it’s because LEED buildings are more attractive to visit or because their employees are more satisfied, and consequently providing better service, Conlon and Glavas find that sustainability equals a big difference to the bottom line at LEED bank branches— $461,300 per employee after controlling for other variables that influence performance (e.g., consumer net worth, employee demographics, market demographics, size and age of branch, marketing spend).

New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste

March 20, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy


While the costs associated with storing nuclear waste and the possibility of it leaching into the environment remain legitimate concerns, they may no longer be obstacles on the road to cleaner energy.

A new paper by researchers at the University of Notre Dame, led by Thomas E. Albrecht-Schmitt, professor of civil engineering and geological sciences and concurrent professor of chemistry and biochemistry, showcases Notre Dame Thorium Borate-1 (NDTB-1) as a crystalline compound that can be tailored to safely absorb radioactive ions from nuclear waste streams.

What's the big idea? Ten speakers to participate in ND Thinks Big

March 20, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

ND Thinks Big

ND Thinks Big, a student-organized event modeled after TED talks and Harvard Thinks Big, will take place at 7 p.m. March 22 (Thursday) in the Jordan Auditorium of the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Sponsored by student forum The Hub and the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, the event features 10 speakers from the Notre Dame faculty and administration, who will each deliver a 10-minute talk about their research and current work within their respective fields.

Land Institute president to deliver sustainability lecture at Notre Dame

March 16, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

Wes Jackson

Wes Jackson, president of the Land Institute, will be the inaugural Lecturer in Sustainability at 7 p.m. on March 28 (Wednesday) in Room 101 of the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

His lecture, titled “Why Agriculture Must Take the Lead Toward a Sustainable Future,” is free and open to the public.

New paper examines issues raised by Fukushima reactor accident

March 08, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

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, Henry Massman Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, 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.

In the paper, which appears in the March 9 edition of the journal Science, Burns, Rodney C. Ewing of the University of Michigan and Alexandra Navrotsky of the University of California, Davis, call for increased research to help develop predictive models for future nuclear accidents.

Dorm energy competition: May the best quad win

March 08, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

Quad Energy Competition

At this time of year, you might expect Notre Dame students to be focusing on midterms or planning for spring break. But instead, students across campus are getting ready for a new kind of dorm energy competition.

New state-of-the-art meters and a new online dashboard will now enable students to see how much energy their dorm is using and how they rank in the competition at any time. Read More

Collaborative forum will explore K-12 education and research

February 21, 2012 • Categories: Annual Report and ND Energy


The Notre Dame extended Research Community (NDeRC) will gather education and research professionals for the fifth annual Collaborating for Education and Research Forum from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 25) in the Jordan Hall of Science 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. The forum showcases a broad spectrum of professional engagement opportunities for K-12 educators, including summer- or week-long opportunities in nanotechnology, genetics, embryonic development, environmental studies, astronomy, subatomic physics, engineering, mathematics and science. All of the programs are free to educators, while some programs also provide stipends.

Green Summit to highlight sustainable transportation

February 21, 2012 • Categories: Annual Report and ND Energy

Green Summit V: The Future of Transportation

Electric cars, bicycles, alternative fuel vehicles and innovations in public transportation will take over the University of Notre Dame’s Stepan Center in an exciting trade show display on Feb. 29 (Wednesday) for “Green Summit V: The Future of Transportation.”

“Sustainable transportation is a rapidly developing field, and we wanted to create a setting in which the ND community could connect directly with those who are redefining what’s possible,” explained Rachel Novick of the Office of Sustainability. “Experts will be on hand at the summit to answer questions about battery technology, charging stations, electric bikes and much more.”

Brennecke elected to National Academy of Engineering

February 10, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

Joan F. Brennecke

Joan F. Brennecke, the Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 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.

Election to NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education, including significant contributions to engineering literature, the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing and implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.

New paper examines seawater’s effect on nuclear fuel

February 06, 2012


Japanese officials used seawater to cool nuclear fuel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following last March’s tsunami. Although it was likely the best course of action at the time, a new study coauthored by University of Notre Dame researchers suggests that the action may have had unanticipated consequences.…

Welcome New SEI Faculty and Staff

January 17, 2012 • Categories: ND Energy

We are pleased to welcome two new assistant professors to the SEI faculty group -- Tengfei Luo and Ruilan Guo -- both of whom joined the University in January 2012. Tengfei is a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and Ruilan is a faculty member in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. SEI faculty and associated researchers will have an opportunity to learn more about their respective areas of research at an upcoming SEI Seminar in February.…