Three ARPA-E Awards

Grainger Engineering faculty will be part of three projects funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s OPEN 2021 program, which supports high-impact, high-risk approaches to clean energy. All three professors are part of the UIUC-led Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS).

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The awards totaled  more than $10 million.

Professor Nenad Miljkovic, a Kritzer Faculty Scholar in Mechanical Science & Engineering, will work with the the hybrid-electric aircraft company Ampaire to develop ways to remove ice, snow and frost accretion on mobile and stationary electrified systems in ultra-fast time and with lower energy consumption when compared with current methods.

Milijkovic is also part of a team led by  Nokia. It will develop a highly efficient, resource-conserving thermal energy architecture that will simultaneously  improve computer server cooling energy efficiency and deliver high-quality thermal energy that can be used directly for  heating and cooling buildings.

Professor Kiruba Haran also celebrated  a win under the program. Haran is a  Grainger Chair in Electrical & Computer Engineering and director of POETS.

group of men standing in group looking at lab equipment
NASA staff visit the Hinetics Lab in the summer of 2022.

His startup company, Hinetics, will lead  a project called “Cryogen-free Ultra-high  field Superconducting Electric (CRUISE) Motor.” The company, alongside UIUC and POETS researchers, will develop and demonstrate a high-power density electric machine to enable electrified aircraft propulsion systems up to 10 megawatts  and beyond. Hinetics’ technology uses a superconducting machine design that eliminates the need for cryogenic auxiliary systems yet maintains low total mass.

“Universities, companies and our national labs are doubling down on advancing clean energy technology innovation and manufacturing in America to deliver critical energy solutions from renewables from electric vehicles to fusion energy to tackle the climate crisis,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm while announcing the awards. “DOE’s investments show our commitment to empowering innovators to develop bold plans to help America achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, create clean energy good-paying jobs and strengthen  our energy independence.”

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This story was published September 19, 2022.

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