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).
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.
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.”