Energy researchers apply mechanical engineering principles to systems that convert energy from one form to another. These systems include things like power production from conventional and renewable sources as well as building energy systems and refrigeration. Our research efforts in energy span several groups working in a number of different technology areas; however, each of these areas relies on a solid foundation of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer.
Researchers in our Engine Research Center are working to improve internal combustion engine efficiency and reduce the pollution they cause. Researchers in our Solar Energy Laboratory work on renewable energy resource use and ways to reduce energy demand, including improving building energy systems. Researchers in our Thermal Hydraulics Lab collaborate with industry to tackle cutting-edge issues associated with the next generation of power plants, while researchers in our Cryogenic Engineering Lab are developing thermal management strategies at extremely low temperatures, which will enable technologies like quantum computing.