Case Western Reserve University to Lead Project on Energy Storage

Case Western Reserve University will lead a two-year energy storage research project, thanks to a $1.65 million grant from Ohio’s Federal Research Network (FRN).

The goal of the project is to create energy storage resources for use in the defense and aerospace industries. Case said in a news release that the grant is part of a statewide effort “to stimulate economic development and jobs.”

The grant also establishes the Partnership for Research in Energy Storage and Integration for Defense and Space Exploration Center of Excellence, a collaboration between Case, universities (including Ohio State University, the University of Akron, the University of Toledo and the University of Dayton) and members of the industry in Ohio like Lubrizol Corp. and GrafTech International. The partnership is part of Case’s Great Lakes Energy Institute.

The center will take on three projects initially, focusing on creating batteries that are lighter, have more capacity or can operate in high temperatures.

“We are focusing on developing next-generation batteries that are safe and lightweight and high performance to enhance applications across sectors,” partnership director Alexis Abramson said in the release. Abramson also is the director of the Great Lakes Energy Institute and a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

The release noted that the aim of the FRN Centers of Excellence is to commercialize new technologies, especially those that can support the NASA Glenn Research Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The state investment is “designed to encourage further funding from the federal government and industry,” the release stated. One of the Case-led partnership’s goals will be to raise more than $500,000 in external funding by the end of the two years.

Case was one of four universities in Ohio to receive this first round of funding for 2016-2017. The other universities and the centers they will create are as follows, according to a FRN news release:

  • University of Dayton, the Materials and Manufacturing Center of Excellence
  • Ohio State, the Ohio Center for Power and Propulsion Center of Excellence
  • Wright State University, the Human Performance and Health Science Center of Excellence

The four universities received a total of $7.1 million in state funding. Case is listed as a partner university for the centers at Wright State and the University of Dayton, and the University of Akron is listed as a partner in the University of Dayton and Ohio State centers.