NNSA Awards New Coorperative Agreements to Advance Nuclear Stockpile Science

October 15, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has designated four new Centers of Excellence at universities across the nation as part of the Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) Program.

The four new centers bring the total number of SSAA Centers of Excellence to eight. The centers enrich graduate education and training while also facilitating interactions between NNSA National Laboratory scientists and emerging leaders in academia.

“These cooperative agreements strengthen the Nuclear Security Enterprise by advancing areas of science relevant to the stockpile stewardship mission and ensuring a pipeline of future scientists to carry out that mission,” said Dr. Kathleen Alexander, Assistant Deputy Administrator for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation in NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs.

The University of California San Diego will receive $10.5 million over 5 years to manage the Center for Matter under Extreme Conditions. Dr. Farhat Beg will lead research and technological breakthroughs in high-energy density physics while training graduate students at the participating campuses and NNSA National Laboratories. The work will have an emphasis on creation and diagnosis of extreme states of matter—both magnetized and unmagnetized—utilizing computer modeling and experiments to develop a better understanding of high-energy density systems. More


UCSD Fuel Cell Team Demonstrated Record Performance for Zirconia-Based Solid Oxide Fuel Cells


The UCSD Fuel Cell Team recently demonstrated the best cell performance for zirconia-based solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) at reduced temperatures (600oC-650oC vs. present operating temperatures of 750oC-800oC). Peak power densities of ~2 W/cm2 and 1.7 W/cm2 were achieved with hydrogen fuel at 650oC and 600oC, respectively. The SOFC exhibiting these extraordinary performances is a thin-film multilayer structure fabricated by a sputtering process developed by the team. The cell is based conventional configurations made of common SOFC materials: a fully dense yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolyte sandwiched between a porous lanthanum strontium cobalt iron (LSCF) perovskite-YSZ nanostructured cathode with a gadolinium doped ceria (GDC) interlayer, and a porous Ni-YSZ nanostructured anode. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrograph of the cell, cross-sectioned by focused ion beam (FIB), along with cell performance curves are shown below in the figure. The UCSD Fuel Cell Team consists of Principal Investigator Dr. Nguyen Minh, his Postdoctoral Scholar Dr. Yoon Ho Lee, and Visiting Scholar Dr. Tuyen Tran of UCSD/CER, Prof. Eric Fullerton and his graduate student Haowen Ren of UCSD/CMRR, and Prof. Shirley Meng and her graduate student Erik Wu of UCSD/NanoEngineering. This work is performed under the project “Innovative, Versatile and Cost-Effective Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Stack Concept” funded by the US Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL). The research on high-performance SOFCs at reduced operating temperatures is an element of the project to develop an efficient, reliable and cost-effective fuel cell technology for future commercialization.

 Minh News

Micrograph of Cell Microstructure (Left) and Cell Performance Curves (Right)


The SOFC is an all-solid fuel cell known for its fuel flexibility. The main attractive feature of this type of fuel cell is its clean and efficient generation of electricity from a variety of fuels. Suitable fuels include hydrogen, natural gas, biogas, alcohol, gasoline, diesel, coal gas and other practical fuels. SOFCs are being considered for a broad spectrum of power generation applications, ranging from watt-size devices to multi-megawatt power plants, covering all market sectors (mobile/portable, transportation, stationary). SOFCs when operated in reverse (electrolysis) mode can also be used to produce hydrogen (from water) or oxygen (from carbon dioxide for example). Potential applications in this case include industrial production of hydrogen, hydrogen for energy storage and oxygen generation for space use.



2018 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research Recipient

July 9, 2018

"For the first experimental demonstration of the stabilization of edge localized modes in high-confinement diverted discharges by application of very small edge-resonant magnetic perturbations, leading to the adoption of suppression coils in the ITER design."

Richard A. Moyer is also a senior lecturer of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. His research focuses on understanding and controlling transients in tokamak plasmas that can limit the performance or damage the device, with a goal of developing actuators to suppress or mitigate the consequences of these events

The 2018 John Dawson Award is based in part on research done at DIII-D, a U.S. Department of Energy user facility operated by General Atomics in San Diego. Read more about the award in the General Atomics press release.

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July 10, 2018

Union City Site Now Using Recycled BMW i3 Car Batteries to Store Energy During Peak Solar and Reduce Strain on the Grid

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Port of San Diego to Install a Solar-Powered Microgrid with $5 Million Grant from California Energy Commission

June 20, 2018

UCSD was selected as a DOE Award for Concentratd Solar Power Award!

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DOE Award for Concentrated Solar Power

June 12, 2018

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Platform for EV charging research and innovation: University of California San Diego and partners

April 26, 2018

UCSD was selected as a GTM 2018 Grid Edge Innovation Award!

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Department of Defense Announces FY18 Research Equipment Awards

April 3, 2018

The Department of Defense announced awards to 175 university researchers at 91 institutions in 36 states, totaling $53 million through the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program. Among those selected for funding was Farhat Beg's proposal titled, "Compact Pulsed Power Driver for Research on Energy Transfer and Interface Dynamics in High Energy Density Plasmas". more...


A Power Player for San Diego

April 5, 2018

UC San Diego’s Center for Energy Research, which helped to develop the innovative power grid that allows the campus to generate most of its own energy while pumping less carbon into the atmosphere, is extending its expertise to the rest of the San Diego region. more...

Jan Kleissl

UCSD Receives Funding in the Department of Energy $12 Million to Advance Early-Stage Solar Research

December 19, 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $12 million in new funding for eight projects to advance predictive modeling capabilities for solar generation. These models will lead to more accurate forecasts of solar generation levels, enabling utilities to better manage the variability and uncertainty of solar power and improve grid reliability. more...


Rick Moyer elected a 2017 Fellow of the American Physical Society

October 12, 2017

The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in physics through original research and publication, or made significant innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. more...


UC San Diego Center for Energy Research, LPPFusion to Collaborate on Fusion Energy Research

October 5, 2017

A new collaboration between CER and LPPFusion, Inc., a private company in Middlesex, NJ, was formalized with an agreement October 2, with the aim to develop the dense plasma focus device for fusion energy. more...


Can used batteries be the key to unlock EV charging profits?

September 13, 2017

EVgo is testing onsite storage at a pilot electric vehicle charging station at UC San Diego, aiming to reduce demand charges and make its stations more profitable. more...



Orion Academic Access Campaign a Great International Success

August 7, 2017

Researchers from University of California San Diego (C McGuffey, F Beg), Universität Darmstadt (M Roth, G Schaumann, J Ohland), Queens University Belfast (T Hodge) and General Atomics (MS Wei) joined to use the two powerful short pulse beams of Orion together with up to four long pulse beams to explore focusing laser driven ion beams into a small sample. more...


See How This Clean Tech Start Up Plans To Turn Electric Vehicles Into Virtual Power Plants

June 28, 2017

Nuvve, a clean tech start up in San Diego, has launched a pilot project with University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) to use idle electric vehicles as a collective energy storage reservoir. This will allow parked EV's to feed their energy back into the grid and be redeployed as needed by utility or grid companies. The total cost of the pilot is estimated at $7.9 million. more...

Nuvve-CER EV partnership

Nuvve and UC San Diego to Demonstrate Vehicle-to-Grid Technology Through Energy Commission Grant

June 14, 2017

The United States is home to more than half a million electric vehicles. What if all those vehicles could be turned into virtual power plants, feeding energy back into the grid while connected via a charger?   more...

Engineers for a Sustainable World Wind Turbine Dedication

Electric Car Drivers Can Sell Back Electricity in UC San Diego Test

June 14, 2017

UC San Diego is teaming with NUVVE Corp. to test whether electric vehicle drivers in California will embrace selling power back to the electric grid while plugged in.The test is being financed with a $7.9 million grant from the California Energy Commission and will feature 50 specially equipped charging stations on campus.   more...

Engineers for a Sustainable World Wind Turbine Dedication

Electrolytes made from liquefied gas enable batteries to run at ultra-low temperatures

June 15, 2017

San Diego, Calif., June 15, 2017 -- Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a breakthrough in electrolyte chemistry that enables lithium batteries to run at temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius with excellent performance   more...


UC San Diego to be Recognized for Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

June 08, 2017

UC San Diego will receive two 2017 Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practice Awards from the Higher Education Energy Efficiency Partnership. The annual awards highlight achievements that University of California and California State University campuses have made through innovative and effective energy efficiency projects and sustainable operations. more...

UC San Diego Recognized for Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

New EnergiPlant Wind Turbine Provides Power and Public Space

June 02, 2017

Although the U.S. government announced this week it will withdraw participation in the Paris Climate Accord, UC San Diego is charging ahead with clean energy generation and has a new way to harness the wind to show for it. Engineers for a Sustainable World, a student-led organization at UC San Diego, held a dedication ceremony last week for EnergiPlant, its new wind energy generation system.   more...


William Torre Appointed NAATBatt's New Chief Technology Officer

April 06, 2017

NAATBatt International has appointed William Torre, CER's Director of Energy Storage, as their new Chief Technology Officer. Bill  will help guide programming and field inquiries, from members of the press and the public, about advanced electrochemical energy storage systems and technology.   more...

Wiliam (Bill) Torre

CER CHARGES Project Featured at ARPA-E Innovation Summit

March 17, 2017

CER’s Department of Energy funded ARPAe Cycling Hardware to Analyze and Ready Grid-Scale Electricity Storage (CHARGES) project was staged at this year’s ARPA-E innovation summit technology showcase.  more...

CA Drought

Research to Help Mitigate Future Shocks to State’s Water, Food and Energy Supplies

February 16, 2017

The California drought may be unofficially over, but that doesn’t mean it won’t return. Policymakers, businesses and the agriculture industry can best prepare for that possibility by applying what they have learned from past droughts to future events. more...

CA Drought

High Tech High Students Tour Campus Microgrid

December 24, 2016

As part of their class research into Zero Net Energy (ZNE) facilities, students from High Tech High toured the UC San Diego Microgrid, where they were introduced to the campus’ energy storage system, photovoltaic installation and central power plant, and learned about UC San Diego’s efforts to become a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) campus. more...

High Tech High Microgrid Tour

UC awards $14 Million in National Security Lab Grants

November 21, 2016

The 2017 UC National Laboratory Research and Training competition awarded more than $14 million in research grants to four collaborative research proposals . CER's Director Farhat Beg is the Lead Principal Investigator of the Center for Frontiers in High Energy Density Science, which received $4.1 million.  more...

jose boedo

Christopher Holland receives 2017 DOE INCITE award

November 14, 2016

The DOE Office of Science announced 55 projects through its Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program. Christopher Holland, a Research Scientist at CER, received 100 million core-hours to study instabilities in tokamak reactors to better predict confinement in future devices.   more...

jose boedo

Jake Spisak awarded Outstanding Undergraduate Poster at APS DPP Conference

November 5, 2016

Jake Spisak was the recipient of an Outstanding Undergraduate Poster award at the 2016 APS Division of Plasma Physics Conference, for his poster entitled " Hybrid Particle-In-Cell Simulations of Weakly Collisional Shock Formation". more...

jake spisak

Jose Boedo named a 2016 American Physical Society Fellow

October 12, 2016

Jose Boedo was named a 2016 fellow of the American Physical Society. He was nominated by  the Division of Plasma Physics and honored for his ground-breaking contributions to the studies of plasma drifts and intermittent plasma transport in the peripheral region of tokamaks . more...

jose boedo

Remembering Sol Penner, CER's Founding Director

July 15, 2016

Professor Emeritus Stanford S. “Sol” Penner, the founding director of our Center for Energy Research and a creator of UC San Diego's engineering program, passed away on July 15, 2016 at his home in La Jolla. He was 95 years old.  more...

sol penner

Bringing Energy Innovations to Market

April 14, 2016

The San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Cluster identifies innovative entrepreneurs that are developing solutions to the region’s priority energy needs and provides them with a customized plan that includes access to advisory support, technology commercialization services, and proof-of-concept and pilot testing.  more...

SD Innovation Cluster

UC San Diego Projects Featured at DOE-ARPAe Innovation Summit

March 2, 2016

The University of California San Diego was well represented at this year’s ARPAe Innovation Summit, held in Washington DC from February 29 to March 2. The Center for Energy Research sponsored two funded ARPAe projects.   more...

Antonio Tong speaks to students at ARPAe Summit

President Obama honors Extraordinary Early-Career Scientists

February 18, 2016

Tammy Ma, a former Ph.D. student of Director Farhat Beg, was named by President Obama as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

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Jonathan Peebles wins Best Poster Prize at NNSA Stockpile Academic Alliance Symposium

February 2016

CER graduate student, Jonathan Peebles, was awarded Best Poster Prize at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s 2016 Stockpile Academic Alliance Symposium.

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Bill Torre and Cleantech awarded CEC Energy Innovation grant

February 2016

The California Energy Commission awarded the San Diego Regional Innovation Cluster energy grant to Bill Torre's research group in collaboration with Cleantech San Diego.

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New finding may explain heat loss in fusion reactors

January 2016

Researchers at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, in collaboration with others at the University of California at San Diego, General Atomics, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, say that they have found the key.   more...

MIT Fusion Reactor

Seeing where energy goes may bring scientists closer to realizing nuclear fusion

January 2016

The team, led by scientists and engineers at the University of California, San Diego and General Atomics, developed a new technique to “see” where energy is delivered during a process called fast ignition, which is an approach to initiate nuclear fusion reactions using a high-intensity laser.    more...

high energy electron

X-ray breakthrough 'opens door' to controlled nuclear fusion

January 2016

new technique  to monitor a process called 'fast ignition' has been developed, in what could be a critical step towards a viable method of creating controlled nuclear fusion more...

x-ray breakthrough

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