About Us

Who we are
The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research (NCESR), a collaboration between the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), was established in April 2006 to conduct research on renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and energy conservation; and to expand economic opportunities and improve quality of life for Nebraska and the nation.

Mission
To conduct energy research that produces new technologies, processes and systems that provide new or significantly enhanced renewable energy sources and improves the quality of life and economic opportunity for all Nebraskans.

Goal
The overall goal of the Center is to develop research and education programs in energy sciences by fostering interdisciplinary collaboration among University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty and with other research institutions, public-sector agencies, and private sector companies with similar interests. The Center supports both basic and applied research and has a broad mandate to explore a range of renewable energy opportunities (including biofuels, wind, and solar energy), as well as opportunities for energy conservation.

Vision
The Nebraska Center for Energy Science Research (NCESR) will serve as a catalyst at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to expand opportunities in a broad spectrum of important and innovative energy research areas, such as renewable energy, improved energy efficiency, the production of new materials that find applications in developing clean energy technologies and other evolving energy science areas.  To achieve the vision, the Energy Center plans to:  NCESR Vision 2013

Center Organization and Administration
The Center is a university-wide Center that reports to the UNL Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, with oversight provided by the External Advisory Committee, and guidance from an Executive Council on strategic planning and program coordination across UNL. Faculty participate in the Center’s programs through the competitive research and education grant programs, seminars, the annual Energy Workshop Conference, and other events and activities sponsored by the Center.

Director
Dr. Mike Nastasi became Director of UNL’s Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research on January 3, 2012.  He came to UNL from Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was a longtime researcher and, since 2009, directed the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Frontier Research Center on Materials at Irradiation of Mechanical Extremes.  His interest in energy research stems from his work in materials and nanoscience.  Research interests include ion-solid interactions, irradiation induced phase transformation and irradiation effects in nanostructured materials. Dr. Nastasi earned doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in materials science and engineering from Cornell University.  He is also a  professor of mechanical and materials engineering and holds the title of  Elmer Koch Professorship.

Associate Directors

Dr. Jerry L. Hudgins serves as both the Associate Director of the Energy Center and the Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  He provides leadership and expertise in solar, wind and geothermal energy; energy storage and distributed power systems; architectural engineering; and energy conservation for commercial buildings and residences.  He also leads UNL’s efforts to connect with industry and government agencies in these areas.

Dr. Mark Riley serves as both the Associate Director of the Energy Center for Biofuels and Bioproducts and as the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering.  He is the former department head of biological systems engineering.  Dr. Riley provides leadership in the area of bioprocess engineering and biosensors.  He also leads UNL’s efforts to connect with industry and government agencies in these areas.  Dr. Riley has been inducted as a Fellow into the American Association for the Advancement of Science and will be inducted into the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers.  He is also regarded for his national leadership in advancing the field of biological engineering, which integrates life sciences and engineering to create new knowledge, products and processes.

Executive Council
The Center Director is assisted by an Executive Council which provides input to the content and format of Center-sponsored grant programs.  Members of the Executive Council include: Executive Council List

External Advisory Committee
The External Advisory Committee (EAC) is comprised of three representatives from NPPD, the UNL Chancellor, and the UNL Vice Chancellor for Research. The EAC has responsibility for oversight of the Center’s programs and makes final decisions on allocation of grants within the research and education competitive grant programs. The Committee advises the Center Director on strategic directions and program development, and makes final decisions on allocation of funding to research and education grants funded by the Center. Members of the External Advisory Committee include: External Advisory Committee list