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DOE grants advance clean manufacturing research

October 5, 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recently selected two projects for funding — led by or involving ME researchers — that will accelerate clean energy solutions for manufacturing in the United States.

The funding for both projects is approximately $6.26 million. The projects draw on the department’s expertise in advancing next-generation materials and developing technologies that accelerate energy efficiency.

Aniruddh Vashisth and Ashis Banerjee headshots

Left: Aniruddh Vashisth. Right: Ashis Banerjee.

The first project, which received approximately $1.8 million in funding, will contribute to the aerospace industry’s need for aircraft manufacturing technologies with improved energy efficiency. Assistant Professor Aniruddh Vashisth is the lead researcher on the project, which aims to use machine learning and radio frequency fields to weld industry-standard composites — lightweight, high-performance materials that are used to build aircraft, cars, windmills and more. Collaborators include Associate Professor Ashis Banerjee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher Vipin Kumar. The team also includes the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), Boeing, Electroimpact and Hexcel.

John Kramlich headshot

John Kramlich

The second project, led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), focuses on an innovative approach to manufacturing materials for electric vehicle batteries. Professor John Kramlich is a collaborator on the project, which received approximately $4.46 million. Other UW collaborations on the project include MSE Assistant Professor Eleftheria Roumeli and MSE Washington Research Foundation Innovation Chair in Clean Energy Jun Liu. The researchers’ goal is to develop a technology for manufacturing single crystal nickel-rich cathode materials. The technology will improve facilities for single crystal production, simplify the manufacturing process and reduce costs.