Research illustration of liquid copper

Energy Systems & Materials

Duke MEMS faculty are experts in developing new energy materials, improving energy-related technologies and exploring underlying chemistry and physics. The vision: a future with clean and abundant energy. They are deeply engaged in developing new sources of energy and improving the design of systems for energy conversion, storage and transport. New energy materials and approaches include photovoltaics, solar fuels, thermoelectrics, supercapacitors/batteries, efficient lighting and thermofluids. Practical applications are built upon discoveries in mechanics, thermodynamics, hydrodynamics, materials science, applied chemistry and physics.

Duke students with turbine blades

Research Areas

  • Batteries and energy storage
  • Computational materials discovery and design
  • Constructal law of design
  • Efficient lighting
  • Energy materials
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Solar energy
  • Thermal transport and thermoelectrics
  • Thermofluids for energy
  • Thermodynamics

Major Centers & Initiatives

Externally funded research centers and laboratory groups working in this topic area include:

Related Study Opportunities

PhD

Specializations include:

Master of Science (MS) or Master of Engineering (MEng)

Concentrations include:


Further Options at Duke

Duke University Program in Materials Science and Engineering

The program offers a general materials science and engineering (MSE) curriculum and degree title. Learn more ┬╗

Associated Faculty

Wilkins Aquino

Wilkins Aquino

Anderson-Rupp Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Computational mechanics, finite element methods, computational inverse problems and their applications in engineering and biomedicine, scientific computing, computational acoustics and acoustics-structure interaction, coupled chemo-mechanics (e.g., electrochemistry-mechanics).

Adrian Bejan

Adrian Bejan

J.A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Research Interests: Thermodynamics, applied physics, life & evolution in nature, constructal law.

Donald B. Bliss

Donald B. Bliss

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, acoustics, and structural dynamics

Volker Blum

Volker Blum

Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Computational predictions and understanding of new materials related to energy and electronics, as well as molecular structure and spectroscopies, based on the "first principles" of quantum mechanics. Much of this work is directly connected to ongoing developments of new...

Chuan-Hua Chen

Chuan-Hua Chen

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Research Interests: Experimental and theoretical research coupling physicochemical hydrodynamics with interfacial engineering

F. Hadley Cocks

F. Hadley Cocks

Professor with Tenure in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: A wide variety of areas in materials science, including crystal growth, mechanical properties of kidney stones, lunar science, diffraction optics, materials for radiation detection, and radiation shielding.

Stefano Curtarolo

Stefano Curtarolo

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Artificial Intelligence Materials Science; Autonomous Materials Design; Computational materials science; High-Entropy Disordered Systems; Materials for Energy Applications; Materials for Aerospace Applications. Prof. Curtarolo multidisciplinary research makes use of state-of-the...

George Delagrammatikas

George Delagrammatikas

Professor of the Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Engineering Education, Automotive Engineering, Design Optimization, Thermal Fluid Sciences, Experimental Methods, Prototyping

Olivier Delaire

Olivier Delaire

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Olivier Delaire investigates atomic dynamics in materials, focusing on problems at the interface of Materials Science, Physics and Chemistry. His research group utilizes a range of experimental and computational approaches, including neutron and x-ray scattering techniques,...

Linda Franzoni

Linda Franzoni

Professor of the Practice

Research Interests: Acoustics of enclosures, underwater acoustics, structural dynamics and vibration.

Nico Hotz

Nico Hotz

Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Research Interests: Interfacial transport phenomena and thermodynamics in energy technology, including phenomena at the micro- and nanoscale. Thermodynamics aspects of photovoltaics, novel sustainable energy conversion technologies, and chemical reactions are an essential part of my research. My...

Laurens E. Howle

Laurens E. Howle

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Hydroelastic modeling of deformable structures, transport in thermal and chemical systems, experimental and computational fluid dynamics, nonlinear and complex systems, heat and mass transport in biological systems, stability of fluid motions, machine learning, data mining,...

Po-Chun Hsu

Po-Chun Hsu

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Smart multifunctional textiles, camouflage fabrics, stimuli-responsive polymer, wearable electronics, photon management, radiation heat transfer, solar desalination and water harvesting, electrochemical devices, electrospinning and fiber fabrication

Tony Jun Huang

Tony Jun Huang

William Bevan Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Acoustofluidics, microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip, biomedical micro-electro-mechanical systems (BioMEMS), optofluidics, plasmofluidics.

Josiah D. Knight

Josiah D. Knight

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, and dynamics

Brian Mann

Brian Mann

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Nonlinear dynamics and vibration utilizing analytical, numerical, and experimental techniques. Fundamental investigations of phenomenon and application areas where dynamical systems theory plays an important role.

David Mitzi

David Mitzi

Simon Family Distinguished Professor

Research Interests: Making emerging photovoltaic materials more effective, cost-efficient and competitive for the energy market.

Walter Neal Simmons

Walter Neal Simmons

Gendell Family Professor of the Practice

Rebecca Simmons

Rebecca Simmons

Associate Professor of the Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Pei Zhong

Pei Zhong

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Ultrasound-targeted gene delivery and activation; Synergistic combination of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and immunotherapy for cancer treatment; Innovations in shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) technology; and Mechanics and bioeffects of acoustic cavitation.

Jeffrey Glass

Jeffrey Glass

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Interests: Electronic materials and the associated devices/instruments improved by these materials, especially electrode applications in miniature mass spectrometry, energy conversion and storage and liquid waste disinfection for developing regions. Electrochemical measurements and...

Sara Haravifard

Sara Haravifard

William M. Fairbank Assistant Professor of Physics

Research Interests: Exploring novel collective phenomena in quantum materials by means of neutron and x-ray scattering techniques; Investigating quantum critical phenomena at extreme environmental conditions of ultra-low temperature, high magnetic field, and high pressure; Materials by Design:...

Tomasz Hueckel

Tomasz Hueckel

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Mechanics of materials, theoretical soil mechanics, rock mechanics, theory of plasticity, multi-physics processes in geomechanics, nuclear waste disposal, energy and environmental geomechanics.

Benjamin J. Wiley

Benjamin J. Wiley

Professor of Chemistry

Research Interests: In the Wiley Group, we make new nanomaterials by controlling the assembly of atoms in solution, and explore applications for nanomaterials in medicine, catalysis, plasmonics, and electronics. Our goal is to precisely control the size, shape, and composition of materials on the...

Edward J. Shaughnessy

Edward J. Shaughnessy

Professor Emeritus in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Analytical, experimental, and computational studies of flow problems arising in biology, medicine, and biotechnology as well as in more traditional mechanical engineering applications.