Clarkson University Member Spotlight



Clarkson University is a private university located in Potsdam, New York. It was founded in 1896 and has an enrollment of about 3,500 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs.   Clarkson offers over 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences.   It is home to the Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP), which is dedicated to developing Clarkson's research and educational programs in high-technology materials processing. Its mandate is to develop innovations in advanced materials processing and to transfer this technology to business and industry.

CAMP researchers have integrated an array of electro-analytical characterization techniques in the framework of materials engineering to design and evaluate novel electrodes and electrolytes for advanced secondary batteries. One ongoing effort at CAMP is focused on high-temperature sodium nickel chloride (molten salt) batteries. This battery project involves an industry /academic consortium of several universities including Clarkson, and is part of NY-BEST’s Market Driven Research Program.  GE Global Research leads the consortium, which has been awarded a $2.5M grant by NYSERDA to enhance battery reliability, cycle life, and performance.

The Clarkson part of the project involves groups led by CAMP Professors Dipankar Roy and Dan Goia , who are developing efficient cathode materials for GE’s sodium metal halide batteries. Goia’s team is developing nickel-based nano-materials for these cathodes by using a colloid-chemical approach. The group led by Roy has established a systematic strategy for coupling various current- and voltage-controlled D.C. techniques with surface sensitive A.C. impedance probes to carry out quantitative evaluations of such cathode materials.

In other energy storage work at Clarkson, the research teams of Professors Roy and Sitaraman Krishnan at CAMP are working to develop novel ionic liquid and polymeric electrolytes for lithium ion batteries and electrochemical capacitors.  The goal of these research efforts is to significantly improve the thermal stabilities of these energy storage systems using strategically designed non-flammable (near-zero vapor pressure) ionic liquids, ionogels and polymers as replacements for the flammable/volatile electrolytes commonly used in such devices.

Clarkson is also home of a wind turbine Blade Test Facility, which opened in 2013 as the first center of its kind in the Northeast.  The Center for Evaluation of Clean Energy Technology (CECET) and NYSERDA joined Clarkson University in announcing the grand opening of the facility that is used to test the strength and rigidity of small- and medium-scale wind turbine blades.  Blade testing is necessary to certify wind turbines to international standards for strength and safety, and can be used by manufacturers to market the benefits of their products, as well as improve product standards and quality.

NYSERDA has also partnered with Clarkson on several other clean energy projects including demonstrating the viability of data centers powered by renewable energy, in a joint project with Advanced Micro Devices, HP, GE, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and other entities. Clarkson also performed a smart housing study, which involves a university-based psychology group working with students to find ways to encourage dorm room residents to take steps to reduce power consumption such as turning down heat or lights when not present.

A wood boiler at Clarkson's Walker Center was used to demonstrate the benefits of imported high-efficiency wood pellet boilers and Clarkson has also evaluated the first made-in-New-York high-efficiency boiler as well as other wood boilers in upstate New York. Clarkson is currently adding thermal storage to its existing boiler to achieve higher energy efficiency.

According to Professor S. V. Babu, Director of CAMP “We are excited by the networking opportunities provided by NY-BEST. Innovation in the energy storage arena in NY State is impressive and continues to grow. CAMP at Clarkson is a leader in several related technologies and is delighted to be partnering with NY-BEST and its leadership team.”

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five Clarkson alumni holds a position as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. The entire learning-living community at Clarkson spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.