Center for Energy Systems Research


Student field trip to ORNL

REU Student's on a field trip to ORNL

"This REU-IREST site hosted their final group of students in 2021.  Thanks to all who participated and good luck in your future endeavors!"


Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) - Immersive Research in Energy generation, Storage/conversion and power Transmission (IREST)

This NSF REU Site was funded by the Division of Engineering Education and Centers, and focused on providing cutting-edge research in the areas of energy generation (solar, biomass, piezoelectric, generation from salinity gradients, etc.), energy storage/conversion (lithium-ion and lithium-air batteries and formic acid fuel cells) and power grid integration (solar and electric vehicle to grid integration).


  • Opportunities to conduct high quality immersive research in the areas of energy generation, storage and power transmission.
  • Train top national research talent in key emerging areas of energy, critical for maintaining national preeminence.
  • Nurture student professional growth and train them on intelligent research approaches including: maintaining a daily diary, interpreting data and information, effective research outcomes dissemination and ethical decision making.
  • Encourage students in energy related careers and to pursue graduate studies through targeted field trips to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, guest seminars by industrial partners and cutting edge research immersion.


  • Energy related cutting-edge immersive research and training
  • Intelligent research and professional development seminars and workshops
  • Hands-on training with real equipment
  • Field trips to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and industrial partner sites
  • Preparation of research papers and posters
  • Saturday afternoon outreach session

Topic Areas

  • Solar photovoltaics optical and electrical modeling
  • Biomass pyrolysis, renewable and alternative energy resources
  • Selectively gas permeable anode flow field for direct formic acid fuel cells
  • High-energy-density lithium ion batteries
  • Energy harvesting with embedded piezoelectric transducers in additive manufacturing
  • Minimal-energy computational models
  • Modelling the energy absorption behavior of mechanical metamaterials with viscous component in their base materials
  • Modelling the energy absorption behavior of mechanical metamaterials with viscous component in their base materials.
  • High-efficiency Wireless Power Transfer.



REU Contacts Bhattacharya and Biernacki

Dr. Indranil Bhattacharya 

Dr. Joseph Biernacki 


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