• Joan Brennecke


    Joan Brennecke

    Keating Crawford Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Director, Notre Dame Center for Sustainable Energy

    Prof. Brennecke is internationally known for her research in the development of solvents, specifically supercritical fluids and ionic liquids. » Read More

  • burns


    Peter Burns

    Henry J. Massman Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences; Director, Energy Frontier Research Center; Concurrent Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Peter Burns leads efforts at Notre Dame and nationwide to understand and control materials that contain actinides at the nanoscale, and are important in developing a greener nuclear fuel cycle. » Read More

  • kamat


    Prashant Kamat

    Rev. John A. Zahm Professor of Science in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and the Radiation Lab; Concurrent Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

    A leader in the field of converting solar to electrical and chemical energy, Prof. Kamat’s research interests include semiconductor and metal nanoclusters, photoresponsive organic-inorganic hybrid nanoassemblies, and environmental remediation. » Read More

“Providing readily-available, inexpensive, and non-polluting energy is arguably humankind’€™s greatest challenge for the 21st century. As the late Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley stated so eloquently, ‘Which of humanity’€™s top challenges (clean water, adequate food, a clean environment, poverty, terrorism and war, disease, or adequate education) could not be solved if clean, inexpensive energy were available to all?’”

— Prof. Joan Brennecke, Founding Director, Notre Dame Center for Sustainable Energy

Departments and Programs

Several of Notre Dame’s graduate programs offer a disciplinary home for students who wish to study some topic within the expansive field of energy—whether that study is grounded in chemistry, chemical engineering, civil engineering, mathematics, or at the intersection of two or more of these subjects.

Depending on your background and interests, you may apply to one of the following departments or programs:

Notre Dame graduate programs are rich in research and education in the environmental sciences as well as the life sciences.


ND Energy

The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) is a University-wide research center focused on expanding the sustainable energy activities at Notre Dame. Research efforts associated with cSEND include the three thrust areas of the Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) —€“ cleaner fossil, safer nuclear, and transformative solar — €”as well as other energy-related areas, including technology and policy for energy efficiency, fuel cells, batteries, wind, geothermal, solar photovoltaics, biofuels, and smart grid.
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Meet an energy student

  • paluch

    Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

    Andrew Paluch

    Andrew Paluch is developing general computational and theoretical methods that will enable us to predict the solubility limit of species such as drug molecules and pollutants in different solvents. » Read More

  • massel_marjorie

    Ph.D. Student in Chemical Engineering

    Marjorie Massel

    Marjorie Massel is working in Prof. Joan Brennecke's laboratory, attempting to create a solvent to capture excess carbon in the production of energy. » Read More

  • wallace_christine

    Ph.D Student in Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences

    Christine Wallace

    Christine's research centers on the environmental behavior of actinide elements and policy regarding nuclear waste. » Read More

  • balboni_enrica

    Ph.D. Student in Civil Engineering and Life Sciences

    Enrica Balboni

    Enrica Balboni's research involves investigating the long-term behavioral properties of subsurface contaminants, specifically radionuclides. » Read More

Centers, Facilities, and Institutes

Notre Dame graduate students work with faculty and other graduate students €- ”often in exciting interdisciplinary collaborations – €”at many campus centers, facilities, and institutes. Some of those centers, facilities, and institutes involved in energy research include:

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Research Impacts

The Department of Energy’s new Advanced Research Projects Agency, Energy (ARPAe), awarded cSEND faculty two competitive research grants totaling more than $5 million in funding. Of the 121 awards made by ARPAe, only nine organizations earned multiple awards, and our peers in this distinguished group include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech Research Corporation, United Technologies Research Center, GE Global Research, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Arizona State University, CUNY Energy Institute, and Virginia Tech. The two awards to Notre Dame are both related to carbon dioxide: the first will provide materials and techniques to make CO2 capture from electricity generation much more affordable (View PCIL Poster) ; the second uses CO2 to make air conditioning and refrigeration more sustainable (View VC Poster).