Our researchers focus on advancing widespread use the most abundant form of renewable energy, solar energy. We work on inventing, implementing and evaluating devices and methods for the incorporation of solar energy directly into societal needs. 

A key research area is the analysis of the performance and durability of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, PV system prototyping, and building-integrated PV applications. Another research area is the synthesis of fuels, chemicals, and materials from low-value feedstock, such as carbon dioxide and methane, through the direct use of solar energy via photo-electrochemical, photo-thermochemical, or plasma-chemical methods. Our research is supported by funding from industry partners and government agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Research Highlight

Prof. Cordula Schmid, Ph.D., and Samuel Alpert, Ph.D. presented at the 2022 IEEE Electrical, Computer and Energy Technologies International Conference, providing a review of roof integrated photovoltaics systems and discusses current developments. Read their article, "A review of roof integrated photovoltaics systems".

    • In the Re-Engineered Energy Laboratory (REng|Lab) led by Juan Pablo Trelles researchers re-engineer the use of direct use of renewable energy towards sustainable processes. A special focus of the REng|Lab is the utilization of solar radiation and renewable electricity for chemical synthesis.
    • Jan Kosny and Cordula Schmid led the Building Physics, Sustainability, and Energy Research (BPSER) which focuses on research and development of novel sustainable technologies and evaluating/adopting innovative approaches to enhance building energy performance and minimize the environmental footprint of the building and construction sectors. Our research is transforming building sustainability, energy usage, and durability characteristics, through a novel building science approach, material engineering, and technology integration. In addition to mitigation of environmental impact, our research goals are the enhancement of resiliency, efficiency, and affordability of buildings and building integrated renewable energy systems across the United States and worldwide.
    • The Advanced Electronic Technology Center (AETC) directed by Prof. S. Mil'shtein at UMass Lowell works closely with engineers from local electronic companies such as M/A-COM, MITRE, Polaroid, Raytheon and Triton Systems to develop students who are ready for the challenges of a technology-oriented workplace. They develop low-cost, scalable solutions to the challenges faced in quantum electronics and optoelectronics, semiconductor devices, and the design of solar cells and clean energy systems.
    • The Ross Lab is focused on designing and understanding novel materials for efficient light absorption and their use in photocatalytic processes and environmental pollutant degradation. This work is highly interdisciplinary, incorporating materials synthesis, nanomaterials, characterization, and physics-based modeling.
    • At the BUREK Lab (Building Resilience through Knowledge) led by Jasmina Burek, Ph.D., students work on interdisciplinary projects and apply engineering, life cycle assessment (LCA), and decision-making models to find solutions to climate change and environmental problems, including those related to wind energy.
    • The Energy & Combustion Research Laboratory (ECRL) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell is focused on developing solutions to the energy problems facing our world. Under the direction of Prof. John Hunter Mack, they are exploring a variety of topics ranging from alternative fuels, novel thermodynamic cycles, and combustion-assisted material synthesis.
    • HEROES (Harnessing Emerging Research Opportunities to Empower Soldiers) is a unique interdisciplinary research and development partnership that brings together complementary expertise, intellectual assets, and research expertise from UMass Lowell and U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center (DEVCOM SC) to enable the U.S. Warfighter.
    • The goals of the Fabric Discovery Center are to drive innovation in functional fabrics, boost economic competitiveness and create more high paying jobs in the region. Available to startups, small businesses and large companies, the 28,000 square foot, two and a half floor research center located in a renovated mill building at 110 Canal Street in Lowell inspires creativity and innovation. You'll find high-tech equipment, a Fashion Makerspace, the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation Center and UMass Lowell research expertise.
    • The Center for Advanced Materials has explored a number of novel thin film photovoltaic technologies. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSC) and organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices have been extensively investigated and now facilitate the development of thin film OPV devices and textiles in partnership with HEROES and the Fabric Discovery Center. In addition, the team has also been developing encapsulation materials for stabilizing the performance of the PV devices. 
    • Jasmina Burek - building-integrated PV
    • Jan Kosny - building-integrated PV and PV-thermal systems, passive solar technologies
    • Jayant Kumar - materials and device configurations for thin film solar cells
    • Claire Lepont - power harvesting textile, Organic-PhotoVoltaic Technology, Thin-Film Coating
    • Mufeed Mah'd - incorporation of solar arrays into scaled municipal renewable solutions
    • Samson Mil'shtien - design of highly efficient cascaded solar cell, design of sun/wind trucking/antitracking unified system of solar panels and wind turbines
    • Ramaswamy Nagarajan - greener advanced materials (electronic, photo-responsive polymers, molecularly integrated hybrid nanomaterials, materials for energy conversion/storage), flexible electronics manufacturing
    • John Palma - semiconductor device design and modeling
    • Robert Parkin - solar energy, assistive technologies, robotics, manufacturing theory
    • Michael Ross - novel materials for efficient light absorption for photocatalytic processes, materials synthesis, nanomaterials, characterization, and physics-based modeling
    • David Ryan - analytical chemistry, humic materials, fluorescence spectroscopy, artificial photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide and water into hydrocarbon fuels
    • Cordula Schmid - photovoltaic (PV) performance and durability analysis, PV prototyping, buildings integrated PV (BIPV), failure analysis, fracture mechanics, company audits
    • Margaret Sobkowicz-Kline - renewable polymers, nanocomposites, organic photovoltaics and electronics, rheology, scattering
    • Juan Pablo Trelles - solar energy processing, plasma science & engineering, semiconductor manufacturing, radiation transport, computational transport phenomena
    • Noah Van Dam - concentrated solar, computational modeling, particle flows

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