Focus on Energy
Like many of its counterparts around the world, the College of Engineering is seeking to better understand how energy can be best utilized and incorporated into daily lives. Yet, the impact of energy — clean, safe, and renewable energy — is such that no single institution can focus on all of the potential aspects of energy. For this reason, the college and its researchers have selected five areas — energy efficiency; safe nuclear waste storage; clean coal technologies; carbon dioxide separation, storage, and usage; and renewable resources — in which they have considerable expertise and through which they will continue to focus their efforts. The college also offers several courses highlighting energy technologies, as well as the social, political, and moral aspects associated with energy usage.
Current Energy Research
Notre Dame researchers have identified a lower-cost alternative to the organic polymers currently used in solar cells.
Researchers in the Institute for Flow Physics and Control — Clark Equipment Professor Thomas C. Corke, director of the center, and Professor Robert C. Nelson — are investigating distributed active flow control as a way to improve wind turbine performance.
Assistant Professor Michael Niemier and a team from the departments of computer science and engineering and electrical engineering have been pursuing the design of circuit elements constructed with nanoscale magnets and using the QCA device architecture.
Tshumbe Solar Project: Notre Dame Works with Diocese and Students in DRC to Build Reliable Electricity and Renewable Energy Skills
The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) successfully delivered and, with the help of local staff, installed a solar microgrid for the Université de Notre Dame de Tshumbe (UNITSHU) in January, 2014. Keith and Janet Sherin, Brad Pattelli, and General Electric provided generous sponsorship to complete this ambitious project in a remote area of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).