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Energy and Environment

UW Mechanical Engineering is helping to advance the adoption of a clean energy future by developing next generation marine, solar and wind energy and electrical energy storage materials, devices and systems, as well as their integration with the grid. Our students and faculty are working to increase the scope and impact of our research and education in alternative energies and the environment. We are fostering partnerships that grow our visibility and prominence in pollution prevention, clean combustion and energy research and technology translation. The solutions being developed in our labs will help establish the course toward a smarter, more sustainable future.

Key research areas

  • Acoustics and noise pollution prevention
  • Batteries and energy storage
  • Energy conversion
  • Energy optimization and conversion
  • Hybrid and electric vehicles
  • Low-emissions combustion, pollutants and control
  • Printed and flexible electronics
  • Wind, solar and marine renewable energy and instrumentation

Research highlights

ME researchers are developing novel technologies related to particulates sampling, environmentally- friendly batteries and combustion pollution control.

Woman cooking outdoors

Clean Cookstoves Lab focuses on the testing, design and development of low-emissions, highefficiency wood-burning cookstoves for the developing world.

Pacific Marine Energy Center responsibly advances the technical, environmental and societal dimensions of marine energy by expanding scientific understanding, engaging stakeholders and empowering students.

Clean Energy Institute is working to accelerate the adoption of a clean energy future by advancing solar energy and electrical energy storage materials, devices and systems, as well as their integration with the grid.

Award-winning student teams

EcoCAR students at a whiteboard

EcoCAR is converting a Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid electric vehicle for a student competition sponsored by General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Students posing with HPS under water

The Human Powered Submarine team designs, manufactures and competes submarines with the goal of developing the most effective submarine system possible, relying solely on human power

Hyperloop team

UW Hyperloop designs, fabricates and competes small-scale pods that travel by magnetic levitation inside tubes at SpaceX headquarters.

Related News

A group of 8 people stand on a large yellow wave energy converter

Sun, 10/10/2021 | Geekwire

Is the tide turning on renewable marine power?

ME Associate Professor Brian Polagye is quoted in a Geekwire article about new wave energy generation devices.

Headshot of Elizabeth Rasmussen

Fri, 04/09/2021

Elizabeth Rasmussen awarded NIST-NRC postdoctoral fellowship

Doctoral student Elizabeth Rasmussen has been chosen as a research fellow in the highly-selective National Research Council (NRC) Research Associateship Program overseen by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM).

Trevor Harrison looking through the glass pane of a big water tank with a diver and a µFloat inside

Tue, 04/06/2021

Lessons in the deep

An underwater robotic device called the µFloat, invented by mechanical engineering student Trevor Harrison, offers a new way to map underwater environments.

Two headshot photos side by side - on the left is Trent Dillon a young man with a big smile and shorter curly hair, on the right Katherine Van Ness, a young woman with short hair and earrings

Thu, 03/25/2021 | U.S. Department of Energy

Trent Dillon and Katherine Van Ness win marine energy fellowships

ME graduate students Trent Dillon and Katherine Van Ness have been named as 2021 Marine and Hydrokinetic Graduate Student Research Program Fellows by the U.S. Department of Energy. Their research fellowships will be hosted by the Makah Tribal Council and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, respectively.