BANDARU, PRABHAKAR RAO
Faculty
pbandaru@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Professor Bandaru is fascinated and motivated by the underlying physics and chemistry of modern materials science and engineering. His research probes the frontiers of engineering, mainly nano scale materials and systems which offer immense benefits in terms of enhanced functionality and portability, and aims to understand materials at the atomic scale. Prabhakar's research will focus on the discovery, study of electronic and magnetic properties, and application of materials in micro-/nano-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS), areas where the spin of the electron provides an additional degree of freedom (spintronics), and biomolecular sensors. He is also extensively involved in the development of novel nanofabrication techniques incorporating electron-beam lithography and self-assembly. His research accomplishments span magnetics, semiconductors, and optics, a few highlights being the solution of a fifty-year old phase transformation problem which resulted in the synthesis of a new material: (Mn,Cr)Bi, the discovery from first principles of the beneficial effect of alpha-hydroxy acids for defect free semiconductor surfaces, and the fabrication of a novel low temperature processed photo-detector. He has published extensively and has received the Vice Chancellor's award for graduate dissertation research at UC Berkeley.


BEG, FARHAT N.
Faculty
fbeg@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Professor Beg is an expert in Z-pinch discharges and the interaction of very high power laser pulses with matter, and has been active in developing pulsed x-ray and neutron sources. Beg has been studying the x-ray emission from a large array of wires placed in form of cylinder (each wire with diameter 1/50th of human hair). The array emits x-rays when a one million ampere current passes through in a fraction of a millionth of a second. He has studied several parameters that can affect the x-ray pulse. Presently, he is also engaged in the study of ultrahigh power interaction with matter. He uses 0.5 petawatt (i.e. 0.5 quadrillion watts) laser for these experiments. This power is more than 500 times that produced by all the power plants produced in the United States. When this high power laser is focused on the surface of matter, exotic phenomena takes place, for example, a magnetic field 400 million times the earth's field is generated. Relativistic electron beam produced in these experiments have applications in fusion research. In recent experiments, Beg pioneered the use of compact X-pinch as an x-ray backlighter source for Z-pinch experiments. Beg's work based on table-top plasma focus neutron source has generated considerable interest and has been cited in the American Institute of Physics news, in Nature and in Physics Today.


CATTOLICA, ROBERT J
Faculty
rcattoli@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Professor Cattolica develops and employs diagnostic tools that are leading to a better understanding of the mechanics of combustion. He is extending the application of spectroscopic diagnostics in combustion, reacting flows, and gas dynamics. His research includes: spectroscopic measurements of temperature and species concentration in strained flames; plasma temperature measurements in semiconductor plasma reactors (where ions are used etch circuit features); and droplet size and velocity characteristics of pulsed fuel injectors for propulsion applications. He is currently developing laser techniques to accurately measure the chemical structure of flames including the formation of nitric oxide, a principal combustion emission. Cattolica's measurements are helping Jacobs School colleagues Kalyanansundaram Seshadri and Forman A. Williams validate the "San Diego Mechanism," a library of chemical kinetic mechanisms used to model the physical and chemical characteristics of the combustion of common fuels including the prediction of pollutant formation. The mechanism is expected to be useful for engine studies and in other areas where computerized simulations should account for the effects of varying fuel mixtures. Cattolica can provide critical perspective on matters of import to both environmental and energy policy including: the questionable use of oxygenates (ethanol and MTBE) as gasoline additives, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, clean-engine technology, and renewable energy from biomass.


CHEN, RENKUN
Faculty
rec001@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Dr. Chen’s prior work on nanoscale thermal energy transport and conversion has received wide acclaim. His current research is focused on thermal transport, which plays a very significant role in both energy production and consumption. He is interested in exploiting the fundamental heat transfer science and engineering at the micro and nano scale, and developing materials and devices for thermal energy conversion, storage and management. Chen will teach undergraduate and graduate courses on energy technologies and nanoscale heat transfer. He will also actively engage in outreach projects at UCSD to promote education on energy technologies.


COIMBRA, CARLOS F.
Faculty
ccoimbra@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Professor  Coimbra
 explores
 the
 intersection
 between
 experimental, theoretical and
 fieldwork
 methods
 to
 analyze and develop
 new
 technologies
 to  harvest
 solar
 power
 in
 its diverse
 forms (direct, wind,
 hydro­potential,
 etc).
 He  uses a network  of
 solar observatories  distributed throughout
 several University
 of
 California
 campuses
 to harvest
 valuable 
ground
 data
 to
 be
 used
 in
 forecasting
 simulations
 with
 time
 horizons
 varying
 from seconds to multiple  days.
 He  is particularly interested
 in
 the
 development  of
 highly  nonlinear,
 evolutionary stochastic
 models
 for
 chaotic 
processes,
 and
 linking
 this
 knowledge
 to
 the
 development
 and
 active control
 of
 receiver-­to-­storage solar and  wind
 systems. Visit the Carlos Coimbra research page at UC San Diego.


CONN, ROBERT W.
Faculty-Emeritus
rconn@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Conn is a leading authority on innovation in America and on the role of universities in ensuring America's future economic prosperity through emerging technology. As a managing director with Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, he leads investments in areas such as semiconductors, energy systems, and specialized materials; and serves on the board of directors of several Enterprise Partners portfolio companies. Conn remains actively engaged with UCSD, and serves as an advisory board for the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.


JIN, SUNGHO
Faculty-Emeritus
sujin@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Professor Jin is a world-renowned researcher in the field of functional materials used in applications ranging from magnetic devices and electronic devices to optical telecommunications networks. Jin is involved in R&D of micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS) devices and materials; exploratory bio-materials and devices; carbon nanotube materials on which future nano-scale devices can be based; and sensor/actuator devices and technologies. Jin has also been a pioneer in the development of high-temperature superconductor materials, colossal magnetoresistance (CMR) materials, diamond film thinning techniques, anisotropic conductive polymers, and new, environmentally safe, lead-free solders that he has championed since the early 1990s. He also invented magnet sensor materials now widely used in anti-theft security tags in retail stores. With roughly 170 patents to his name, Jin can discuss intellectual property issues and is developing a course on inventions and patents.


KLEISSL, JAN PETER
Faculty
jkleissl@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Professor Kleissl researches the interaction of weather with engineering systems, in particular buildings and their energy use, solar power systems, and irrigated lands. He developed the first building energy use model that is coupled with weather processes in the urban canyon and urban fluid mechanics through large eddy simulation. This models can be used to study the impact of urban surfaces on human comfort and energy use. For example, even though artificial turf get very hot in the sun, it was found to reduce energy use of nearby buildings due to a reduction of window transmission of solar radiation. Kleissl is also an expert on solar resource assessment and forecasting and is co-director of the California Solar Energy Collaborative and Vice-Chair of the American Solar Energy Society resource applications division. Using high frequency solar irradiance measurements and whole sky imagery, Kleissl's research group has developed cloud tracking and intra-hour solar forecasting models. These models are expected to be critical to facilitate economical integration of large amounts of solar power into the electric grid.


KRASHENINNIKOV, SERGEI
Faculty
skrashen@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Professor Krasheninnikov's areas of research include plasma turbulence and transport; atomic physics in plasmas; plasma-material interactions and the physics of materials of plasma facing components in fusion devices; laser-plasma interactions and generation of intense relativistic electron beams; gas discharge physics and plasma chemistry. His focus is on the understanding the physics of complex issues related to the fusion energy production by controlling plasma transport, improving plasma confinement, discovering ways to fully utilize the power produced, and implementation of plasma-related technologies in different applications in science and engineering.


SESHADRI, KALYANASUNDARAM
Faculty
kseshadr@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Professor Seshadri is an expert in combustion. He is interested in the chemical inhibition of flames, the combustion of diesel fuels and solid propellants, the mechanisms involved in the formation of pollutants, and the destruction of toxic compounds. He has helped demonstrate the usefulness of asymptotic analysis in the science of combustion. Asymptotic analysis employs the mathematical concept of a limit to efficiently identify critical boundaries, reactions, or other factors dominant in complex non-linear natural phenomena. In 1998, Seshadri applied an asymptotic analysis that succeeded in singling out the most critical interaction among hundreds ensuing when the superior industrial fire suppressant Halon 1301 extinguishes a flame. Halon 1301 is widely used by the military to quench fires in planes. But the chemical, also known as bromotrifluoromethane or CF3Br is no longer manufactured because it damages the Earth's protective ozone layer. Because Seshadri implicated bromine as critical to Halon 1301's fire-suppressing efficiency, and since bromine is the element in Halon 1301 that destroys ozone, the work signaled that the search for alternatives should switch from naturally occurring elements toward development of non-toxic synthetic substances. Dr. Seshadri can speak about many combustion related topics, including using fire to eliminate biochemical warfare agents.


TYNAN, GEORGE ROBERT
Faculty
gtynan@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Professor Tynan's current research is focused on the plasma physics of controlled nuclear fusion as an energy source. He studies the fundamental physics of turbulent transport in hot confined plasmas using both smaller scaled laboratory plasma devices as well as large scale fusion experiments located around the world. In addition, he is investigating how solid material surfaces interact with the boundary region of fusion plasmas, and how the materials are modified by that interaction. He is also interested in the larger issue of transitioning to a sustainable energy economy based upon a mixture of efficient end use technologies, large scale deployment of renewable energy sources, and incorporation of a new generation of nuclear technologies such as advanced fission and fusion reactor systems. He is preparing a textbook on these topics to introduce science and engineering students to this critical issue.


WILLIAMS, FORMAN A.
Faculty
fwilliam@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Professor Williams' studies range from investigations into the fundamental nature of energy and combustion to practical applications in energy conservation and production, as well as pollution control. Among other things, he looks at the structures of flames employing both detailed and modeled chemistry, conducting small-scale laminar combustion experiments to measure ignition and extinction. Williams' work in combustion has led to a greater understanding of pollutants. He has focused on the mechanisms of production of NOx emissions (oxides of nitrogen), which can be used to decrease pollution from automobiles. Williams has designed fundamental combustion experiments on the space shuttle and in the space station to look at the effects of gravity or microgravity on flames. By studying droplet and spray combustion for propulsion, more efficient rocket engines have been addressed. Most recently, Williams has been looking at fire safety and providing a San Diego chemical kinetic mechanism for use in combustion problems.


WILLIAMS, FORMAN A.
Faculty-Emeritus
fwilliam@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Energy

Professor Williams' studies range from investigations into the fundamental nature of energy and combustion to practical applications in energy conservation and production, as well as pollution control. Among other things, he looks at the structures of flames employing both detailed and modeled chemistry, conducting small-scale laminar combustion experiments to measure ignition and extinction. Williams' work in combustion has led to a greater understanding of pollutants. He has focused on the mechanisms of production of NOx emissions (oxides of nitrogen), which can be used to decrease pollution from automobiles. Williams has designed fundamental combustion experiments on the space shuttle and in the space station to look at the effects of gravity or microgravity on flames. By studying droplet and spray combustion for propulsion, more efficient rocket engines have been addressed. Most recently, Williams has been looking at fire safety and providing a San Diego chemical kinetic mechanism for use in combustion problems.