The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research (NCESR), chartered in 2006, supports innovative research and interdisciplinary collaboration by funding competitive “seed grants” for energy sciences research. About Us describes the mission, goal, vision, center organization and administration, including the Director, Associate Director, Executive Council and the External Advisory Committee. Contact Us gives the office address plus contact information for the Center’s staff. Use the Whittier Research Center Map or UNL’s Campus Maps to locate the NCESR office in Suite 230 of the Whittier Research Center, 2200 Vine Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.

2020 NCESR summer interns selected

Four undergraduate students were selected as recipients of the Darrell J. Nelson Summer Undergraduate Internship in Energy Sciences Research for the summer of 2020.  The four recipients and their supervising faculty members are:  Garrett Beard (Craig Zuhlke, Department Electrical and Computer Engineering),  Jackson Goddard (Shudipto Dishari, Department of Chemical Engineering), Theresa Guss (Bruce Dvorak, Department of Civil Engineering), and Zoe Marzouk (Peter Dowben, Department of physics and astronomy).  The internship is named after Mr. Darrell J. Nelson, who served 41 years on the Custer County Public Power District and Nebraska Public Power (NPPD) Boards.  Read more…

NCESR grant leads to breakthrough in fiber study

Dr. Yuris Dzenis, a faculty member in Mechanical and Materials Engineering, recently published an article in Applied Materials & Interfaces ( a journal of the American Chemical Society ) on a study that allowed him and other researchers on the project to explain the differences in fibrillation.  The article also received the honor of gracing the cover of the journal.  To view the article, go to Study yields breakthroughs in understanding failure of high-performance fibers.

NCESR seed grant leads to $4.5M award

In 2012, Alexander Sinitskii was awarded an Energy Center grant for his project entitled  “Three-Dimensional Graphene-Based Scaffolds for Supercapacitor Applications”.  This seed grant has led to the awarding of a three-year, $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Naval Research.  Dr. Sinitskii, associate professor of chemistry, will lead a multi-institution research team investigating ways to incorporate DNA nanotechnology as a construction tool to assemble graphene in new ways that could make the material more useful in electronic devices and other applications. To learn more about the research, go to  Alexander Sinitskii award.

Summer Intern wins 2nd place at ASME

Abdelrahman with award certificate

Abdelrahman Elsayed, one of the 2019 summer interns, won 2nd place in the undergraduate research competition at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Congress International Undergraduate Research Exposition. Abdelrahman’s faculty sponsor is Professor Yuris Dzenis from the Mechanical and Materials Engineering Department.  To view Abdelrahman’s poster, click 2019IMECE-AElsayed_sm

Thilini Ekanayaka receives graduate student award from AVS

Thilini Ekanayaka, a graduate student working with Takashi Komesu and Andrew Yost in Physics and  Astronomy, was one of three recipients selected to receive a Graduate Research Award from the American Vacuum Society.  She competed against over 2000 other student applicants to become a finalist.  Thilini will receive a cash award, a certificate, and reimbursement for travel support to attend an International Symposium.   Thilini’s work is on an Energy Center project entitled “Doping Metal-Chalcogenide Quantum Dot Solar Cells for Enhanced Device”.


NCESR project leads to NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

As a result of NCESR funding, a microbial enrichment culture surviving on hydrogen and calcium carbonate was determined to produce acetate and methane. Nicole Fiore, a graduate student funded to examine the physiological capability of the enrichment, was intrigued not only by the implications for carbon cycling on Earth but also on other planets (or moons). She developed a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship proposal to expand upon current knowledge of microbial metabolisms under extreme conditions, specifically those that alter planetary or lunar minerals.  As part of Nicole’s NSF fellowship, she will investigate microbially-catalyzed carbonate transformations under alkaline conditions, expanding on current NCESR funding.  pseudocolor-carbonate  This opportunity will help her develop the skills necessary for a career in astrobiology so she can continue to research questions that contribute to our overall understanding of the universe.

Nicole is working with Dr. Karrie Weber in the School of Biological Sciences.  The NCESR funded project is entitled “Microbial Electrosynthetic Conversion of CO2 and Carbonates into Biogas and Bioproducts”.

NCESR project leads to DOE Graduate Student Research Award

An NCESR project on “Graphene-Based Supercapacitors for Efficient Energy Storage and Delivery” has led to the awarding of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research award.  Jacob Teeter (in Dr. Alex Sinitskii’s lab, Department of Chemistry) received the award for his proposed project “Bottom-Up Engineering of Nanoribbon Properties through Systematic Structural Modification”.  The work will be conducted at the DOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee over a 12-month period.  In the framework of this project, Jacob will use scanning tunneling microscopy to investigate atomically precise graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) that will be grown from molecular precursors synthesized at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.  GNRs are widely regarded as promising materials for nanoelectronics, and Jacob’s studies will elucidate their structural and electronic properties.

NCESR Seed Funding Helps Obtain NRC Award

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently awarded the University of Nebraska  with a three-year, $450,000 Faculty Development Grant to support the research of Bai Cui, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering.  The grant will help develop materials for the next generation of nuclear power facilities.  Jeff Shield, chair of mechanical and materials engineering, and Michael Nastasi, director of the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research, collaborated on the grant.  NRC will help develop materials for next generation nuclear power facilities

NCESR projects showcased in video

The Nebraska Public Power District recently produced a video showcasing six energy research projects funded through the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research.  The University of
Nebraska-Lincoln professors leading these projects are Martha Shulski, School of Natural Resources; Chris Cornelius, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering;  Ned Ianno, Electrical and Computer Engineering;  Karrie Weber, School of Biological Sciences; Jeff Shield, Mechanical and Materials Engineering; and Xiaoshan Xu, Physics and Astronomy.    To view the video, click on Research Videos