Texas A&M Energy Institute Graduate Fellowships
The Texas A&M Energy Institute offers graduate fellowships to reward excellence in energy research, promote research that is important to our energy future, and encourage students to pursue careers in energy.
Application Deadline: 5:00 p.m. Friday, May 4, 2018 Award Notification: June 29, 2018 Fellowship Term: September 2018 – May 2019
The Texas A&M Energy Institute is pleased to announce the call for applications for the 2018 Texas A&M Energy Institute Graduate Fellowships. These graduate fellowships recognize outstanding energy research work performed by Ph.D. students under the supervision of Affiliated Faculty Members of the Texas A&M Energy Institute. Three fellowships are available this year in the amount of $5,000 each. The fellowships, effective in September, will be awarded in two equal payments in September 2018 and January 2019.
All Ph.D. students who meet the following criteria may apply for a graduate fellowship:
- Cumulative GPA of 3.7 or higher;
- Enrolled full time (9 hours or more);
- In good standing at Texas A&M University;
- Perform energy research; and
- Have a primary advisor who is an Affiliated Faculty Member of the Texas A&M Energy Institute.
The application should be in the order listed below, submitted as a single PDF file, and include the following:
- Nomination letter by the applicant’s primary faculty advisor (1 page)
- Description of applicant’s energy research (1 page)
- Applicant’s curriculum vitae
- Transcript providing evidence of applicant’s cumulative GPA of 3.7 or higher and full-time student enrollment
(Howdy transcripts are preferred)
- Applicant’s expected graduation date and career plans (up to 100 words)
Submission of Applications
Applications are due Friday, May 4, 2018, by 5:00 pm and should be submitted electronically (single pdf file, minimum 11-pt font) to:
Robyn L. Pearson
All questions should be addressed to Robyn Pearson (firstname.lastname@example.org; 979-458-1685).
Spotlight on Student Research
Luis E. Camacho
Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering
2017-18 Energy Institute Fellow
Advisor: Perla Balbuena
“Theoretical Understanding and Design of Materials for Energy Applications”
Research DescriptionAs we continue to move toward sustainable sources of energy (e.g. solar, wind), new challenges arise in the engineering of materials for more efficient energy conversion and storage devices. In order to improve the performance of such devices, it is crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding of how they operate, requiring joined efforts from first-principles modeling and in situ experiments. At Professor Balbuena’s research laboratory in the department of chemical engineering, I am carrying out research using computational methods at the nanoscale to study physical-chemical properties needed for design of novel materials used in diverse energy applications. A few specific topics of my research include: 1) the design of anode electrocatalysts for water splitting to improve hydrogen production; 2) evaluation of tunable electronic and optical properties of semiconductor transition metal dichalcogenides – a 2D type of materials with a diverse number of applications such as nano batteries, green electronics, and photonics; and 3) the elucidation and control of the solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) growth at anode materials for Li-ion and Li-sulfur batteries to enhance the performance and lifetime of rechargeable batteries. This theoretical understanding combined with experimental data can help develop effective ways to tailor-make materials for crucial energy applications.
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
2017-18 Energy Institute Fellow
Advisor: Hamid Toliyat
“Magnetic Gears and Magnetically Geared Machines for High-Torque Applications”
Research DescriptionMagnetic gears use the interaction of modulated magnetic fields to transform mechanical energy between low-speed, high-torque rotation and high-speed, low-torque rotation. Thus, they perform the same function as mechanical gears while providing benefits from contactless power transfer, such as reduced maintenance requirements, higher reliability, and reduced acoustic noise. Magnetic gears are ideal for high-torque applications when maintenance and reliability are significant concerns, such as during production of wind energy, wave energy, as well as various downhole applications. In addition to simply replacing mechanical gears, magnetic gears can also be integrated directly with an electric machine (motor or generator) to form a magnetically geared machine – a single, compact device capable of producing significantly more torque than a comparably sized conventional electric machine. This magnetically geared machine can then be used directly, without any further gearing. This research has involved the development of novel magnetic gear and magnetically geared machine topologies; the development of analytical and numerical tools to evaluate magnetic gear performance; the optimization of magnetic gear and magnetically geared machine performance for different applications; and the design, fabrication, and testing of prototype magnetic gears and magnetically geared machines.
Department of Mechanical Engineering
2017-18 Energy Institute Fellow
Advisor: Hong Liang
“Novel Hierarchical Nanocomposites as Electrodes for Electrochemical Energy Storage”
Research DescriptionElectrochemical energy storage devices (EESDs) are in demand for portable electronic devices, smart grid, hybrid or electric vehicles, and energy recovery systems. To date, lithium ion batteries (LIBs) and supercapacitors (SCs) are two typical mediums of storage. This research aims at design, fabrication, and characterization of electrodes made of novel hierarchical nanocomposites. Firstly, various types of metallic current collectors with highly porous morphology are fabricated and characterized. Nanostructured, shape-specific, and electrochemically active transition metallic oxide (TMO) particles are subsequently synthesized and directly deposited on such porous current collector. This combination of nanostructured TMO particles and porous current collectors establishes the hierarchical micro-architecture of advanced electrodes. Meanwhile, facile and novel binder-free processing is applied during the assembly. Electrochemical characterization and analysis are conducted to understand the mechanisms of electrochemical interactions, ion transport, and energy storage. The ultimate purpose of this research is to design better electrodes with greater energy density, longer lifespan, enhanced cyclic stability, and lower cost.