BANDARU, PRABHAKAR RAO
Faculty
pbandaru@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Renewables

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.


CATTOLICA, ROBERT J
Faculty
rcattoli@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Renewables

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.


CATTOLICA, ROBERT J
Faculty-Emeritus
rcattoli@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Renewables

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: Renewables

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: Renewables

Interests for Coimbra’s research group include: heat and mass transfer; energy meteorology; atmospheric radiation; cloud physics; optical properties; multiphase flows; real-time forecasting; stochastic learning and variable order methods. Visit the Carlos Coimbra research page at UC San Diego.


GRAEVE, OLIVIA A
Faculty
ograeve@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Renewables

Professor Olivia A. Graeve has gained international recognition in the area of nanomaterials manufacturing. Her research expertise connects fundamental principles of materials processing with specific engineering needs, with special emphasis on electromagnetic multifunctional materials for sensors and energy applications. Specific projects her group has worked on include: fundamental studies of microemulsions for the preparation of ceramic and metallic nanoparticles of unique morphologies; the effect of crystallite size and particle size on the sintering behavior of nanopowders: interface behavior, agglomeration effects and morphological effects; the luminescence response of doped oxide ceramics such as barium aluminum silicate compounds for triboluminescent sensor applications, lutetium silicate compounds for gamma-ray detection applications, and hydroxyapatite for in vitro probing of deterioration of scaffolds and bone; the behavior of metal-based nanofluids for thermal energy dissipation; the consolidation and mechanical behavior of amorphous-metal / nanocrystalline-ceramic composites via spark plasma sintering; the development of hexaboride materials for space propulsion, electro-optics, and hydrogen storage applications; and the processing of carbide powders and fibers for high-temperature sensor and aerospace applications. Her work is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and a variety of industrial partners.
 


KLEISSL, JAN PETER
Faculty
jkleissl@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Renewables

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.


KRSTIC, MIROSLAV
Faculty
mkrstic@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Renewables

Professor Krstic works on nonlinear, adaptive, and infinite dimensional control theory and many applications. He is a co-author of ten books, including the classic Nonlinear and Adaptive Control Design (1995), one of the two most cited research monographs in control theory, the graduate textbook Backstepping control of PDEs (2008), the single-authored Delay Compensation for Nonlinear, Adaptive, and PDE Systems (2009), and seven other books on extremum seeking, delay systems, stochastic nonlinear control, and control of turbulent fluid flows. Early in his career he developed controllers for two types of instabilities in jet engines, compressor rotating stall and combustor thermoacoustic oscillations, and then developed controllers for fluid flows arising in application to aerodynamic drag reduction, fusion reactors, control of magnetohydrodynamic instabilities in plasmas, control of internal combustion engines, and battery management systems. In addition to reviving the area of extremum seeking for model-free real-time optimization, he launched its application to source seeking for autonomous vehicles in GPS-denied environments. His past activities also include control of blade-vortex interaction on helicopter rotors, control of satellites and underwater vehicles, and control of biological and chemical reactors.


SESHADRI, KALYANASUNDARAM
Faculty
kseshadr@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Renewables

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.


WILLIAMS, FORMAN A.
Faculty
fwilliam@ucsd.edu

Research Interests

Research Unit: Renewables

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: Renewables

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.