Energy Infrastructure

About This Strategic Research Area

Wind Turbines

The accelerating energy crisis and increased demand for renewable energy continues to drive discovery in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Our faculty are leading projects in electric power systems, wind and solar energy, and energy planning that will help answer the challenges we face as a result of growing energy demands worldwide.

ECpE department research in this area focuses on:

            • energy system planning and modeling
            • novel photovoltaic and organic solar cells
            • power electronics systems and controls
            • power systems security
            • wind energy

This research has applications in areas such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, and the smart grid.


Solar Energy Cells

Iowa State is home to experts on phototaic solar cells.

  • Researchers at Iowa State recently developed a process that improved the efficiency of polymer solar cells by 20 percent.
  • Iowa State researchers are currently working on the $2 million National Science Foundation project called NETSCORE-21, the first research project to develop optimization tools that take into account sustainability, reliability, and cost-effectiveness for energy and transportation infrastructure planning.
  • Professor Vikram Dalal invented two of the basic device structures—a tandem junction solar cell based on amorphous and amorphous germanium and a tandem cell comprising an amorphous and a crystalline semiconductor—used today in devices throughout the thin-film silicon photovoltaic industry.


Faculty in This Area

  • Venkataramana Ajjarapu
  • Rana Biswas
  • Sumit Chaudhary (secondary area)
  • Vikram Dalal (secondary area)
  • Ian Dobson
  • Ayman Fayed (secondary area)
  • Manimaran Govindarasu (secondary area)
  • Ratnesh Kumar (secondary area)
  • James McCalley (group chair)
  • Joseph Shinar (Physics Department)
  • Ruth Shinar (secondary area)
  • Masha Sosonkina
  • Leigh Tesfatsion
  • Umesh Vaidya (secondary area)
  • Lizhi Wang
  • Joseph Zambreno (secondary area)

Energy Infrastructure Research Centers, Institutes, and Laboratories


Research Projects and Publications

For complete information on research projects and publications in this area, consult individual faculty members’ websites, our graduate student thesis archives, and individual research center and laboratory websites.


Graduate Student Research Areas

Energy infrastructure research at Iowa State encompasses the following core areas of graduate study in electrical and computer engineering: