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Go to Receive Inaugural ECS Toyota Young Investigator Award

Nina Welding • DATE: July 15, 2015

Categories:  Press Release

David Go, associate professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, has been named one of the three inaugural ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellows by the Electrochemical Society and Toyota North America. Part of their Green Energy Technology partnership, the program seeks to recognize and encourage young professors to pursue research in green energy technology, specifically those areas that challenge the automotive industry: finding a viable alternative energy source as a replacement for oil, reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and preventing air pollution. The successful candidates are under 40 years of age and working in North America; they also are working on original research that explores unique innovative or unconventional approaches to green energy. In addition to a grant of at least $50,000, the winners are granted a one-year membership to the Electrochemical Society.

Go directs the Small Scale Transport Research Laboratory. His research focuses on small scale (millimeters to nanometers) transport processes, focusing primarily on charge transfer, heat transfer, and fluid dynamics. Currently, Go is actively developing new small scale plasma sources, studying electron transfer processes n plasmas, and exploring new microfluidic approaches for chemical analysis. He has projects investigating applications in electronics cooling, thermal-to-electrical energy conversion, biosensing, and fuel reforming.

His winning ECS Toyota proposal “Plasma Electrochemistry: A New Approach to Green Electrochemistry” will study the feasibility of using plasma electrochemistry to process CO2 for the production of alternative fuels for automobiles — developing new renewable fuels and/or synthesizing existing fuels so that they burn cleaner. Go hypothesizes that using a plasma, which is an electrified gas, to process CO2 will access new chemical pathways in the electrochemical process and lead to new and better fuels for the automobile industry. He envisions simultaneously reducing CO2 in the atmosphere by repurposing it as a fuel source. as well as helping the next generation of vehicles to burn cleaner and greener.

The co-owner of several patents, Go received the NSF Early Career Development award in 2013 and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Research award in 2010. He is also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Physical Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Electrostatics Society of America.

A graduate of Notre Dame, earning his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2001, Go also earned a master’s degree in 2004 in aerospace engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering in 2008 from Purdue University.

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