Syracuse University Member Spotlight



Syracuse University is a private research university that enrolls more than 20,000 students in a rich mix of academic programs offered on its main campus in Syracuse and at numerous centers in the U.S. and around the globe, including major hubs in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Leveraging its long-standing strengths in engineering, science, and policy, Syracuse University leads New York State’s Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. Launched in 2002, SyracuseCoE is a statewide enterprise that strategically targets research and development to improve energy efficiency, environmental quality, and resilience in healthy buildings and cleaner, greener communities.

SyracuseCoE’s internationally known headquarters is a living laboratory for research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects. Located at the crossroads of two interstate highways in downtown Syracuse, the award-winning, LEED® Platinum facilityincludeslaboratories and testbeds for RD&D on combustion and thermal power systems, fuel cells, biofuel production, photovoltaic power, electric vehicles, and smart building technologies.

“New York is leading the nation in transforming how the electrical grid works and how energy services are provided to consumers,” says Edward Bogucz, executive director of SyracuseCoE. “New York also has aggressive goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that require innovations in energy and environmental systems. Research at SyracuseCoE in smart buildings, fuel cells, advanced combustion systems, and renewable, carbon neutral, fuels are focused on technologies that willenable New York to achieve Governor Cuomo’s ambitious vision for a vibrant clean-energy economy.”

Research in energy sources, conversion, and conservation is a strategic focus area in Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. With a commitment to research and education, the College has developed undergraduate and graduate curricula that address advances in energy systems from biofuels to smart grid.

The College’sCombustion and Energy Research (COMER) group is led by Dr. Jeongmin Ahn, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. In a new lab at SyracuseCoE, the COMER group works in many areas related to combustion, fuel cells, new material applications and power generation, with a focus on combining aspects of ceramic processing, electrochemistry, fuel cells, and innovative combustion technology.

The COMER group also isworking on all-solid state lithium ion batteries (ASSLIBs), as well as thedevelopment of a multi-layer structure solid electrolyte composed of a flexible polymer or gel-polymer electrolyte layer and a stiff ceramic layer.  Ongoing work is investigating and characterizing the ceramic/polymer interfacial resistance with different materials, fabrication methods, lamination protocol, and geometry structure; constructing, characterizing and optimizing prototype ASSLIBs with the multi-layer solid-state electrolyte; and constructinga consistent mathematic model to simulate the electrochemical process in the solid-state electrolyte.

The new Thermodynamics and Combustion Laboratory (TCL) at SyracuseCoE is led by Dr. Ben Akih-Kumgeh, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Syracuse University. TCL research projectsinvestigate combustion properties of alternative and conventional fuels with the aim of improving energy conversion efficiencies and reducing emissions of harmful byproducts. The work combines experiments, modeling, and simulations aimed at understanding and developing predictive models for ignition phenomena, flame propagation, pollutant formation, and effects of fuel blends on combustion behavior.  Ultra lean combustion engines and laser ignition systems are specific applications of interest.

Since 2000, SyracuseCoE has engaged more than 200 firms and institutions in collaborative projects.Accomplishments include first-of-their-kind innovations for energy efficiency in data centers and in sustainable redevelopment of distressed urban neighborhoods.In 2014, collaborative R&D led to commercialization of multiple new products by SyracuseCoE collaborators, including an innovative air purification system exported to China and a ground-breaking LED lighting system installed in the stadium that will host the 2015 Super Bowl.