Planning Grant: Engineering Research Center for Thermal Energy Recovery, Refrigeration and Management (TERRM)

  • Priya, Shashank (PI)
  • Kanatzidis, Mercouri (CoPI)
  • Poon, Joseph (CoPI)
  • Chen, Gang (CoPI)
  • Bahoura, Messaoud (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The ever-growing energy demand, escalating energy prices, and environmental concerns compel us to look for cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. Meanwhile, the need of portable power or on-demand production of electrical power using locally available energy sources demands the development of compact, efficient and cost-effective power generators. Economically viable technologies for recovering and transferring waste heat generated by devices and integrating these thermal management solutions will create the opportunity to develop new industries and expand the US economy. The growing demand for high-performance miniaturized electronics has accelerated the need to design and develop compact heat management solutions that are silent, lightweight and comprised of materials that can be recycled. The Engineering Research Center for Thermal Energy Recovery, Refrigeration and Management (TERRM) addresses the National Grand Challenge to ?Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure? by providing foundational technologies required for thermal energy recovery, solid-state refrigeration, distributed energy supply and advanced manufacturing. It builds on the foundation provided by NSF?s big ideas covering ?harnessing data revolution?, ?mid-scale research infrastructure?, and ?quantum leap?. The ERC testbeds will transform the way we design thermal energy based distributed electric generation systems.

The requested funding will be used to conduct targeted national and international events to build a comprehensive team related to TERRM. Workshops, site visits, industry partnerships and conference sessions will provide a systematic roadmap for thermal system design, manufacturing, testing and implementation. Planning stage events will provide lists of grand challenges and time-dependent opportunities which will assist in the development of thrusts targeting basic physics, working principles, performance measurements, materials, and devices. During the planning phase, the goal will be to identify the industrial base, technology roadmap, technology barriers, regulations and standards, commercialization partners, and intellectual property in all targeted areas of TERRM. Advanced system designs for thermal management will be identified through extensive interactions with industry partners. The planning grant activities will build a multi-disciplinary engineering team to address the technology barriers identified during the planning workshop and industrial visits.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date9/1/198/31/22


  • National Science Foundation: $100,000.00


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