The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) is built upon the foundations laid by the Notre Dame Energy Center (NDEC), a College of Engineering research center founded in 2005, and the Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI), a Strategic Research Investment funded by the University in 2010. Part of Notre Dame Research, 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. 


The mission and vision of ND Energy is to foster and grow energy-related research, support education and community outreach, and influence the national and global discussions of the most pressing energy policy issues and questions of our time. The expanded vision goes beyond this to include the global, energy and sustainability challenges, especially in low to middle income countries.  


ND Energy's strategy for sustained growth is to create a highly visible organization that promotes and provides resources for all energy-related activities at Notre Dame. ND Energy interacts with colleges and departments, centers and institutes, and student groups across campus to develop energy-related research initiatives and education and outreach programs for the Notre Dame and surrounding communities. ND Energy also seeks opportunities to interface on a global level with leaders from academia, industry, and government to influence energy policy, ethics, and international relations. 

The goals of ND Energy are to:

  • Serve as a focal point for all University-wide energy-related activities
  • Improve inter-college participation
  • Enhance research collaborations
  • Increase educational opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Create opportunities to promote informed choices for socially responsible and ethical energy production and use internationally, nationally, locally, and individually
  • Influence the national and global views on energy policy, ethics, and international relations
  • Ensure long-term financial viability of these activities at Notre Dame

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, was named center director in July 2014. An accomplished researcher and administrator, Dr. Burns serves as the director of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) funded Actinide Center of Excellence (ACE). The center was founded in 2005.