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

Professor in the Thomas Lord Department 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

J.A. Jones Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering

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

Donald B. Bliss

Associate Professor of the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

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

Volker Blum

Rooney Family Associate Professor 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

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

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

Miaofang Chi

Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

F. Hadley Cocks

Professor Emeritus in the Thomas Lord 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

Edmund T. Pratt Jr. School Distinguished Professor 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

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

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

Olivier Delaire

Associate Professor of the Thomas Lord Department 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,…

Liang Feng

Assistant Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Climate | Energy | Biomedicine & Health | Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics | Carbon Capture | Adsorption & Separation | Molecular Machines | Supramolecular & Porous Materials | Polymer Science & Engineering

Linda Franzoni

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

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

Michela Geri

Assistant Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Mechanics of multi-phase materials - Soft and hard matter - Coupling of mechanics with thermodynamic, kinematic and chemical conditions - Particulate materials/structured fluids - Novel experimental methods - Theoretical Modeling

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

William M. Fairbank Associate 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:…

Nico Hotz

Associate Professor of the Practice in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and 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

Professor in the Thomas Lord Department 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

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Thomas Lord Department 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

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

Associate Professor of the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

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

Brian Mann

Professor in the Thomas Lord 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

Simon Family Distinguished Professor

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

Edward J. Shaughnessy

Professor Emeritus in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Rebecca Simmons

Professor of the Practice in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sci

Walter Neal Simmons

Gendell Family Professor of the Practice

Benjamin J. Wiley

Professor of Chemistry

Pei Zhong

Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Mechanistic investigation and technology development in shock wave and laser lithotripsy; Ultrasound-elicited mechanotransduction, neuromodulation and sonogenetics; HIFU and immunotherapy for cancer treatment; Acoustic and optical cavitation.