We focus on understanding and exploiting materials properties to create efficient, long life, low cost, ionically functional technologies such as:

  • High surface area/nano-structured materials for power conversion
  • Alkali -ion Insertion compounds and and alloy materials for energy storage
  • High surface area materials for electrochemical devices
  • Solid State Ion conductors for batteries and photoelectrochemical cells
  • Electrode materials and structures for novel water purification technologies
  • Novel materials processing approaches for lithium-ion battery recyling
  • Using Machine Learning to autonomously control electrochemisty experiments 

We also study the economic and policy implications involved with:

  • Batteries for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (including V2G scenarios)
  • Scaled energy storage for grid applications
  • Distributed energy generation and storage technologies
  • Entrepreneurship  processes used to bring new technologies to Market
  • Materials intensive invention and innovation theory
  • Recycling used batteries both for secondary use and at a materials level
We work at the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation




New Paper on energy storage economics in Nature Energy

Guannan He takes Post Doc Position at MIT

New paper on Battery Recyling in Nature Sustainability

Rebecca Ciez takes Post Doc position at Princeton

Toyota Research Institute funds 1.5 M project in Machine Learning Materials Seletion @Whitacre group

Whitacre wins Leigh Ann Conn Prize in Renewable Energy

Whitacre Appointed Director of Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

Aquion Energy is Acquired

Whitacre speaks at EmTech

Whitacre Wins Arbor Networks Ph.D. Impact Lecture and Award

Whitacre Wins MIT-Lemelson Award!

Welcome New Graduate Student: Sneha Shanbhag joins a Whitacre Research Group/Mauter Research group Joint Project - Welcome Sneha!

Whitacre selected to serve on National Academies Panel: The main purpose of the committee is to evaluate ARPA-E five years after being established.

Whitacre Testifies in US Congress: On 1 May 2015, Professor Whitacre testified before the US Congress Subcommittee on Energy:

Whitacre to moderate: National Academies Panel on Smart Grid Technologies, February 2015, Washington DC

Rebecca Ciez Wins NSF Graduate Student Fellowship: Rebecca, who is a 2nd year EPP student studying the techno-economics of off grid solar/battery hybrid systems wins 3 years of direct NSF support!!

Kate Groschner wins Churchill Scholarship: Student performing honors reserach in the Whitacre lab just won the year long scholarship to for studies in the United Kingdom

2015 Scott Institute Research Grant won: Along with Litster and Venkat Viswanathan (both from Mechanical Engineering and CMU): An in-situ investigation of dendrite and SEI fomation in Li-ion battery environments.

New Student Joins Group: Sarah Frisco from Materials Science and Engineering at CMU;  Welcome Sarah!

Whitacre named as one of top 25 Eco-Innovators by Fortune Magazine

Mauter and Whitacre Win a new NSF grant: "Pseudocapacitve and Intercalation Compounds for Water Desalination: Surface Chemistry, Electrode Structure, and Foulant Tolerance," funding to start in July 2014 on a three year program

2014 Scott Institute Seed Grant won: "Novel Materials and Sturctures for Capacitive Deionization"

2014 PITA grant won: "Novel Functional Polymers For Use in Aqueous Electrolyte Energy Storage Devices"

2014 Carnegie Science Award, Advanced Materials

The Scott Institute for Energy Innovation has united Carnegie Mellon's energy researchers.  See a promotional video featuring Professor Whitacre

2013 Global Cleantech! 

Whitacre, Aquion Energy, win the 2013 Pittsburgh Business Times Energy Leadership Award

Aquion Energy Scaling to Manufacturing:   A plant site has been selected in Westmoreland county, about 30 miles from Pittsburgh.  Scaled production of batteries has started!  Shipping to early customers and third party testing agencies. 

Whitacre Delivers TEDx talk at TEDxCMU:  Check back to the TEDxCMU website for a posting of the video

Whitacre Hosts Commerce Secretary John Bryson:  To talk about innovation and domestic manufacturing

Whitacre Awarded Carnegie Mellon Elia Development Chair:  Development chair  given to Professor Whitacre  will offer financial support for two years to encourage more novel research.

Whitacre wins CMU George Tallman Ladd Research Award:  Professor Whitacre has been awarded the 2010 CMU Ladd Award, which is given annualy in recognition of outstanding research and professional accomplishments and potential.  

DoE Announces $5M grant to CMU/Aquion Energy:  Funding is to develop the aqueous sodium ion battery chemistry that has been under study by the Whitacre research group over the past 18 months.  Carnegie Mellon Press Release link.

6 New papers recently accepted to peer review journals: See "publications" link. 



New Industrial Grant Awarded:  Recently funded proposal will allow for the investigation of low cost battery materials and systems.

DoE Grant Awarded:  Funding is to support the effort in evaluating energy storage solutions for plug-in hybrid vehicles in the context of vehicle - to - grid  (V2G) load sharing.


Toyota Award: In partnership with J. Michalek of Mechanical Engineering, Toyota has funded an in-depth study on PHEV performance and driver behavior.  A 2009 Prius with an aftermarket 5 kWh Li-ion battery pack has been purchased and is being outfitted with sensors and computer equipmen