Science for our
Energy Future

Energy Frontier Research Center

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Frontiers in
Energy Research
Frontiers in Energy Research: July 2014
  • Ryan Stolley

    In the face of today’s scientific challenges, the nature of collaboration needs to expand to more interconnected structures so that scientists can benefit by combining their sharpened skills. Learn about what it takes to make a team in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts...

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    Based on their annual survey, Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center examined the connections made between the scientists (dots) who work at the different institutions (colors) that make up the center. As the chart shows, the center has resulted in connections between the scientists at different institutions and in the same institute. These scientists are making connections that they might not have made otherwise.

Feature Articles
  • Brian Doyle

    “Many people think they don't know a scientist. When asked to name one, they throw out the likes of Edison and Einstein. They don't name their neighbor, family member, or friend who is a scientist.” So what can scientists and engineers do to improve this public persona? Read about three easy steps scientists can take to improve the public persona of science...

  • James Gallagher

    Future scientific research will be led by today’s early career scientists. Here, we highlight three of the many awards that showcase the research and potential of our early career members....

  • Thirty-two centers will help lay the scientific groundwork for fundamental advances in solar energy, electrical energy storage, carbon capture and sequestration, materials and chemistry by design, biosciences, and extreme environments.

    Marina Faiella

    U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the awarding of $100 million for 32 Energy Frontier Research Centers to accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to build the 21st-century energy economy. Learn more about the successes to date and the plans for the future...

Research Highlights

Editor's Note: In Celebration

Fireworks. Camping. Concerts in the park. July is about celebrating things that matter: family, friends, and the freedom to do a job well. In this issue, we celebrate the outstanding work done at the Energy Frontier Research Centers in the last 5 years. Scientists at the different centers have joined forces to tackle the Grand Challenges of our energy future. While creating teams is easy on paper, the reality of turning strangers into colleagues, and in some cases friends, requires patience, persistence, and hard work. Learn more about what it took and why having younger people on your team is critical.

Summer can also be a time for finding the better route, the faster, simpler way to do something. Across the country, EFRC scientists are finding better ways to answer key questions. In Maryland, researchers devised a way to measure damaging and potentially dangerous swelling in batteries. In Texas, scientists designed a new approach that simplifies creating nano-sized rods needed for materials that could greatly improve batteries and solar cells. In California, scientists built devices that take in light across the spectrum, potentially making solar cells more efficient.

While research can present a host of challenges, explaining it also provides hurdles to overcome. Early career scientists, with the leadership and encouragement of those who have been in the field for decades, are finding new ways to talk about science, changing the perception of science from isolation to inclusion.

And, you can read about a few people here who have gone above and beyond, and are thus celebrating with major awards. As we celebrate the work and the people, we can’t help but look forward to the outstanding results from the new centers that have joined our ranks.

Happy reading!

Kristin Manke,

Editorial Board

  • Marina Faiella, Center for Bio-Inspired Solar Fuel Production
  • James Gallagher, Institute for Atom-Efficient Chemical Transformations
  • Laila Jaber-Ansari, Center for Electrical Energy Storage
  • Nitin Kuman, Center for Atomic-Level Catalyst Design
  • Jimmy O’Dea, Energy Materials Center at Cornell
  • Kjell Schroder, EFRC:CST for Understanding Charge Separation and Transfer at Interfaces in Energy Materials
  • Ryan Stolley, Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis

Guest Writers

  • Brian Doyle, HeteroFoaM Center
  • Ralph House, Center for Solar Fuels
  • Tyler Josephson, Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation
Disclaimer: The opinions in this newsletter are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views or position of the Department of Energy.