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CER News Archives


CER's Center for Matter Under Extreme Conditions (CMEC) is Renewed

May 11, 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration selected eight universities to receive cooperative agreements totaling $100 million to establish nine Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) Centers of Excellence to support research activities in areas of physical sciences and engineering.

The SSAA program funds research grants and cooperative agreements to provide opportunities for scientific collaboration between the academic community and scientists at the DOE and NNSA national laboratories. A main objective of the SSAA is to develop and maintain a long-term recruiting pathway supporting the national laboratories by training and educating the next generation of scientists in critical areas of science and technology research relevant to stockpile stewardship.  Read full article.


CER Scientists Participate in Expanding Your Horizons Workshop for Middle School Girls

March 18, 2023

On March 18, 2023, two groups of CER scientists participated in the Expanding Your Horizons workshop, which aims to educate and motivate middle school girls in STEM. The workshop was held in person at the University of San Diego for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. The event attracted girls from underrepresented communities in East County and the southern part of San Diego. Read full article.


Farhat Beg named the inaugural recipient of the Shao-Chi and Lily Lin Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Engineering Science

January 31, 2023

Farhat Beg, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego and a renowned high energy density science expert, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Shao-Chi and Lily Lin Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Engineering Science.

The Lin Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Engineering Science was established with a $1 million gift from Lily Lin in honor of her late husband, Jacobs School of Engineering Professor Emeritus Shao-Chi Lin, to support the teaching, research and service activities of a distinguished faculty member in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. An additional $500,000 matching endowment was created as a part of the Chancellor’s Endowed Chair Challenge. Read full announcement.


Nguyen Minh Selected as a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society Class of 2022

October 6, 2022

The designation “Fellow of The Electrochemical Society” was established in 1989 for advanced individual technological contributions to the fields of electrochemistry and solid state science and technology, and for service to the Society. These members are recognized for scientific achievements, leadership, and active participation in the affairs of ECS. Each year, their peers choose up to 15 renowned scientists and engineers for this honor. See page 91 of the press release.    

Jan Kleissl Featured on KPBS San Diego News Now

September 19, 2022

Listen to the audio recording on the NPR website. (Episode dated 9/19/22, "Electric cars' impact on grid".) Dr. Kleissl can be found by fastforwarding to 6 minutes 20 seconds. 

Op-Ed: California’s giant new batteries kept the lights on during the heat wave

September 13, 2022, by Mike Ferry for the LA Times

California just stared down its most extreme September heat event in history and survived better than expected — thanks in part to a new system of huge, grid-connected batteries.

The severity and duration of this latest climate-driven heat tested the state’s electricity grid like never before, setting records for power demand that pushed the supply to its limits. But the system held. The lights stayed on.

Additional tests lie ahead, for California and other states and nations. But after this round, California has a clear lesson for the world: Battery storage is a powerful tool for grids facing new strains from heat, cold, fire, flood or aging networks. And just as important, batteries are key to the zero-carbon future we need to avoid even greater stresses down the line. Read more. 

ITER International School on Operation Scenarios and Control

September 12, 2022

The 11th ITER International School concluded successfully in San Diego, USA, on 29 July after five days of lectures and discussions on the development of tokamak operation scenarios and how to control them. After a hiatus of two years due to COVID pandemic, it was finally possible to organize the traditional ITER International School again. A total of 175 Master's, graduate or postdoctoral students gathered at the end of July in San Diego, California, for the 2022 ITER International School, this time focusing on ITER operation scenarios and control. Read more.



CER Researcher Jose Bodeo's Paper Chosen as Editor's Pick

May 17, 2022

Paper titled, "Quantifying heat and particle flux to primary and secondary divertors for various types of edge-localized-modes," found in Physics of Plasmas 29, 052506 (2022);, chosen as editor's pick.




CER Researcher Dmitri Orlov's Research Picked Up by Wired Mag

November 15, 2021

Researchers used the roiling temperatures of an experimental fusion reactor for a surprising purpose: testing heat shield materials for spacecraft. Read more

Opinion: Here’s what I learned at the UN climate conference in Glasgow

November 12, 2021
By Director of Energy Storage and Systems, Mike Ferry

Having just returned from a week at the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, I feel fortunate to have witnessed a bit of history. But as an academic researcher in sustainable energy, I also know that history is being made every day outside those conference halls.

Two years ago, Forbes published an article that stated the world would need to build a new nuclear power plant every day, day in and day out, for the next 30 years in order to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The author was correct, and his point is an important one: Promises like those being made in Glasgow are easy, but actually building things at the necessary scale of change is hard. Read more

Feeling the Heat: Fusion Reactors used to Test Spacecraft Heat Shields

November 8, 2021

Research on extreme conditions in the DIII-D plasmas mimic high-speed atmospheric entries featured by APS Physics Virtual Pressroom. Download the release. 

Researchers Study Spacecraft Heat Shields Using DIII-D Fusion Facility

August 18, 2021

Scientists working at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility at General Atomics (GA) recently developed an innovative experiment that uses the conditions inside a fusion reactor for testing heat shield materials. Among these scientists are CER's Dr. Dmitri Orlov. These experiments demonstrated that the hot plasma created by a fusion reactor during operation offers a novel and potentially improved way of modeling heat shield behavior, especially for entries into Venus or the gas giants. DIII-D is the largest magnetic fusion research facility in the U.S. and is operated by GA as a national user facility for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Read more. 

Dr. Nguyen Minh of CER recently received the Subhash Singhal Award of The Electrochemical Society

August 4, 2021

Dr. Nguyen Minh of CER recently received the Subhash Singhal Award of The Electrochemical Society. This award “recognizes excellence and exceptional research contributions of distinguished researchers to the science and engineering of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and electrolyzers (SOECs), materials, processes, and manufacturing”. He gave the award address “Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Technology – Perspectives on the Future” at the Seventeenth International Symposium on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC-XVII), July 18-23, 2021. The Symposium was planned to be in Stockholm, Sweden, but was held as a digital meeting due to the pandemic. 

CER Proposal Chosen by U.S. Department of Energy to Improve Fossil-Based Hydrogen Production, Transport, Storage and Utilization

July 7, 2021

The project is led by CER PI, Nguyen Minh.  It was selected as 1 out of only 12 chosen. Project Summary: Development of Novel 3D Cell Structure and Manufacturing Processes for Highly Efficient, Durable and Redox Resistant Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells — The Regents of the University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA) will evaluate and demonstrate a highly efficient, durable and reduction-oxidation (redox) resistant solid oxide electrolysis cell technology for H2 production. This project focuses on the development of a novel cell design and its corresponding manufacturing processes and will culminate in the demonstration of a scaled-up SOEC featuring a design with improved performance, enhanced redox resistance and increased durability under conditions suitable for H2 production from steam. The results of the project could form the basis for further development to advance the technology for practical applications and commercialization.  (DOE Funding: $999,913; Non-DOE Funding: $250,956; Total Value: $1,250,869) 

LawnStarter's Article on the 2021’s Most Sustainable Cities Quotes Jan Kleissl

April 22, 2021

Driving an electric car, drinking from compostable cups, growing food in our own gardens — making sustainable choices this Earth Day will help save our planet. Some cities, though, are better at promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle, while others belch smoke and throw away recyclables. Which cities are the leaders and laggers of our Earth-friendly future? LawnStarter ranked the Most Sustainable Cities by comparing the 200 largest U.S. cities across 24 key sustainability indicators. Jan Kleissl was quoted as a expert on sustainability.  Read more here. 

2020 Nuclear Fusion journal award to paper with UCSD participation

January, 2021

The paper presenting ‘Results from recent detachment experiments in alternative divertor configurations on TCV’ received the IAEA's Nuclear Fusion Journal Award 2020. The award acknowledges the first author, C. Theiler and an international team of researchers that include UCSD researchers J. Boedo and C. Tsui, who provided critical data and analysis for the work and analysis of the work as part of an international collaboration supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE). The research team also includes researchers from the Swiss Plasma Center (SPC), took University (UK), Culham Science Center (UK), DIFFER (Netehrlands), Consorzio RFX (Italy) and Max Planck Instituk Fur Plasmaphysik (Germany) as well as other laboratories of the European EUROfusion consortium. Read full article.


Michael Hanson (MAE) was Awarded the Outstanding Poster Award at the 62nd APS Division of Plasma Physics

November 11, 2020

Michael Hanson (MAE) was awarded the Outstanding Poster Award at the 62nd APS Division of Plasma Physicsmeeting. The meeting took place online during the week of 11/9-13. The undergraduate research poster session included 103 presentations from all over the US.

Michael performed his research under the supervision of Dr. Dmitri Orlov. His presentation was titled "The Impact of Resonant Magnetic Perturbation Strength on the L-H Power Threshold”. He reported a DIII-D database study of H-mode power threshold in the presence of Resonant Magnetic Perturbations (RMPs) compared to the Martin L-H power scaling [Y.R. Martin, et al., J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 123, 012033 (2008).]. Since ELM control is critical for ITER, this study is important for assessing the impact of RMP ELM suppression on the L-H power over a range of DIII-D plasma conditions, which can eventually be projected to ITER. The L-H transition is a complex phenomenon with several key control parameters, some of which are altered by the RMP field. In order to understand the effects of RMPs on the L-H threshold, a scaling model was being constructed that included the amplitude and phase of various 3D toroidal modes due to field-error correction and RMP coils in DIII-D. In addition to the loss power used in the Martin scaling, he included the radiated power loss from the core, which had a significant impact of the scaling in DIII-D and is expected to be important in ITER. Preliminary results indicated a systematically higher power needed to cross into H-mode when RMPs are present when compared to the Martin scaling.

Michael plans to continue his research on this topic during his M.S. program at UC San Diego.

UCSD Gets $39 Million Grant for Renewable Energy Testbed

November 2, 2020

UC San Diego will receive a $39 million grant to build a testbed to allow universities, utilities and industry leaders to gain a better understanding of how to integrate renewable energy resources into the power grid. Jan Kleissl, Director of CER, is the principal investigator on the grant and director of DERConnect. The grant from the National Science Foundation will fund construction of the testbed, dubbed DERConnect, which will allow for testing “to validate future technologies for autonomous energy grids in real-world scenarios.”

DERConnect will include more than 2,500 distributed energy resources on the campus’ microgrid, including fuel cell and solar panels, a dozen classroom and office buildings and 300 charging stations for electric vehicles. The project will also involve the construction of a new energy storage testing facility on the East Campus. Read the article.

CER Member, Dmitri Orlov, is Named to the APS DPP Executive Committee

November 1, 2020

CER Member, Dmitri Orlov, has been named as a member to the APS Division of Plasma Physics Executive Committee, effective November 1, 2020. The Executive Committee has general charge of the affairs of the Division of Plasma Physics, and meets at least twice each year. Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee serve three-year terms. See the full list of committee members.

UC San Diego’s Center for Energy Research Awarded over $5M for Energy Projects

October 8, 2020

Led by PI, Nguyen Minh, the University of California San Diego’s Center for Energy Research (CER) has been awarded two grants from the Department of Energy (DOE) for research focused on developing environment-friendly and cost-competitive energy sources and systems. The multi-year awards bring together several divisions on campus in a collaborative effort to create more efficient, cleaner energy systems. Learn More.

CER Director, Jan Kleissl, named a fellow by the American Solar Society

June 10, 2020

CER Director and MAE Professor, Jan Kleissl, was named a fellow by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). Kleissl has been very active within ASES in the solar resources area, participated in many conferences, and chaired the 2017 ASES National Conference. Kleissl also promoted ASES' mission of 100% renewable energy by ground-breaking research in forecasting solar energy production, characterizing solar power variability, and developing technological solutions for solar power integration into the electric distribution system. Kleissl will be inducted into the society as a fellow during the June 24 virtual National Solar Conference.

CER Partners with Johns Hopkins University to Develop New Center, the Materials Science in Extreme Environments University Research Alliance (MSEE URA)

April 22, 2020

The U.S. Department of Defense has selected Johns Hopkins University to lead an alliance of major research institutions in an effort to understand, predict, and control the behavior of materials in extreme conditions caused by weapons of mass destruction. The research is expected to advance the types of materials that are capable of eliminating stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons while limiting the collateral damage of such defensive actions.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is awarding nearly $30 million over five years to establish the Materials Science in Extreme Environments University Research Alliance (MSEE URA), a center directed by Tim Weihs of JHU.

The alliance of 18 institutions includes four permanent universities, each with a technical expert who will work collaboratively with Weihs to manage the consortium. Among these experts, CER's Farhat Beg will serve as a lead in photon-material interactions. Read more.


CEC Funds $11 Million Project to Fast Track Commercialization of Clean Energy Technologies

November 19, 2019

The California Test Bed (CalTestBed) initiative is designed to reduce the stumbling blocks of time, cost, and bureaucracy most entrepreneurs face when trying to bring breakthrough concepts to market. The initiative will provide $8.8 million in vouchers ranging from $10,000 to $300,000. It also includes a streamlined agreement process allowing entrepreneurs to test the design and performance of their prototypes at one of 30 testing facilities throughout the state. 

CalTestBed is a collaboration between the CEC, the University of California Office of the President, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Momentum, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and New Energy Nexus.  Read more.

Cummins Partners with UC San Diego on Second-Life Battery Development

August 27, 2019

Cummins Inc. today announced a multi-year partnership with the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) and its battery validation lab to analyze viable business and technical approaches to effectively reuse and repurpose electric vehicle batteries.  Read more.

Jan Kleissl Becomes CER's New Director!

July 1, 2019


Jan Kleissl Receives Jacobs School of Engineering, Faculty of the Year Award

May 31, 2019

Nominated by graduating seniors at JSOE, Jan was selected for his level of engagement, helpfulness and clarity of instruction.  This honor will be acknowledged at the 2019 Ring Ceremony.  There, the Dean of the School of Engineering will present Jan with his award.  The Ring Ceremony on Saturday, June 15th at 7:30PM at Warren Mall.  Congrats Jan!

Data science helps engineers discover new materials for solar cells and LEDs

May 22, 2019

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a high-throughput computational method to design new materials for next generation solar cells and LEDs. Their approach generated 13 new material candidates for solar cells and 23 new candidates for LEDs. Calculations predicted that these materials, called hybrid halide semiconductors, would be stable and exhibit excellent optoelectronic properties.

The team was led by Kesong Yang, and used computational tools, data mining and data screening techniques to discover new hybrid halide materials beyond perovskites that are stable and lead-free. “We are looking past perovskite structures to find a new space to design hybrid semiconductor materials for optoelectronics.” Yang said.

The team published their findings on May 22, 2019 in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

Read more.


Congratulations to Shirley Meng for being the recipient of the 2018-2019 Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Award in Science & Engineering

April 5, 2019

The Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards program celebrates educators who believe in the extraordinary. These faculty members redefine the concept of “learning,” bringing unrivaled commitment, boundless energy, and daring exploration to their roles as leaders on campus and within the community.  

On Apr. 18, six outstanding UC San Diego faculty members, including CER's Shirely Meng, will be honored at the 45th annual Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards for innovative research, extraordinary teaching and making a difference in the community.  Congratulations, Dr. Meng!

Read more. Or check out the UC San Diego News Center annoucement.


Paper highlighted in AIP Physics of Plasmas: Validation of the model for ELM suppression with 3D magnetic fields using low torque ITER baseline scenario discharges in DIII-D

April 1, 2019

The paper was selected as part of the Editor's Selection, which highlights especially noteworthy advancements in the application of scientific computing to verify and/or validate codes and analytical models aimed at understanding and predicting plasma behavior.  These articles have been made free to read and share for a limited time.

Read more.


CER Outreach Team Participated in the Expanding Your Horizons Event with the Workshop “Electrifying your world!”

March 23, 2019

The workshop included hands-on-presentations on basic properties of electric and magnetic fields and how knowing those properties one can put the energy of those fields to work. As in previous years, every participant  built a small electric motor from scratch. This time, we spent less time on introductory lecture and more time on demonstrations.

Participants of the “Electrifying your world!” workshop:
Marlene Patino (UCSD)
Kelly Garcia (UCSD)
Raymond Seraydarian (former UCLA)
Stefan Prestrelski (Torrey Pines High School)
Igor Bykov (UCSD)

Many thanks to all the off-site members of the team Rick Moyer, Dmitry Orlov, and of course Saikat!


Ionization injection of highly-charged copper ions for laser driven acceleration from ultra-thin foils

January 24, 2019

A new article from the Beg laboratory was published in Nature's Scientific Reports. The article detailed a computational study led by Dr. Jun Li , Dr. Chris McGuffey, Prof. Alexey Arefiev, and Prof. Farhat Beg of the Center for Energy Research and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. It demonstrated the generation of quasi-monoenergetic (up to 400 MeV) and high-charge copper ions in the interaction of ultra-intense (1021 W/cm2) and short (34 fs) laser pulse with thin (20-150 nm) copper foils. The simultaneity of field ionization with ion acceleration, which we call ionization injection, is shown to be the key to the generation of high-quality ion beams in such interactions. This study offers a promising, novel mechanism to produce energetic, high-charge ion bunches for future research. This work was performed in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Naval Research Laboratory. The HPC resources were provided by the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas and the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). More.


Focused proton beams for fast ignition

January 24, 2019

In a new article featured in Laserlab Forum written by Adam Higginson, a postdoctoral researcher in Farhat Beg's lab, discusses laser research in fusion energy.  

"Researchers from British Laserlab-Europe partners the University of Strathclyde and the Central Laser Facility (CLF) have used the petawatt-class Orion laser system in the UK to produce tightly focused beams of protons, using novel shaped targets, to assess physics relevant to Inertial Confinement Fusion and to develop laserdriven proton heating for high energy density physics." More.

Dr. Saikat Chakraborty Thakur Receives UC San Diego's 2018 Inclusive Excellence Award

January 24, 2019

The November 2018 announcement of the awards program invited and encouraged nominations to recognize those faculty, staff, students, departments, and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in support of UC San Diego's commitment to inclusive excellence and diversity. A review committee comprised of representatives from the Executive Vice Chancellor and all Vice Chancellor areas evaluated nominations and recommended award recipients.

A ceremony will be held on Friday, March 1, 2019, at 1:30 p.m., at Price Center West Ballroom to recognize the recipients.  Learn more about the award.


CER Outreach at Fleet Science Center 2019 - On Local News!

January 15, 2019

CER Outreach members attended the Fleet Science Center's 2019 High Tech Fair at Balboa Park (January 17, from 5-8 p.m.).  At this event, students in grades 7-12 learn about opportunities available to them as they pursue a career within a scientific field in San Diego. The science that students learn in the classroom is complemented with real-life applications through interactive experiences provided by participating local STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-related industries.  CER member, Saikat Thakur, talks about high energy density science on the segement.


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

January 10, 2019

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. More. 



Experiment shows laser-driven proton beam makes warm, dense samples with surprising material dependence

December 3, 2018

A team led by Center for Energy Research scientists Chris McGuffey, Joohwan Kim, and Prof. Farhat Beg have shown that proton beams, which are well-studied products of intense lasers, can locally heat a gold sample to over 35 eV, or 400,000 degrees. But, surprisingly, the heating strongly depended on what material was in front of the gold, suggesting that the energy lost by the beam in the hot materials is far different from what existing cold models predict. The experiment was carried out at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Trident Laser at Los Alamos National Laboratory with collaborators at Trident, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, General Atomics, the University of Alberta, and the Ohio State University. The work is described in an article published today in Nature’s online journal Scientific Reports.


Farhat Beg Named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

November 27, 2018

Four researchers at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest general science organization in the United States and publisher of the journal Science.

Farhat Beg, Rajesh Gupta, Pavel Pevzner and Liangfang Zhang join a total of 416 AAAS members that have been awarded this honor because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will recognized during a ceremony Saturday, Feb. 16, from 8 to 10 a.m. Eastern Time at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. This year’s AAAS Fellows also will be formally announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science Nov. 29, 2018.


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.

View the UC San Diego Press Release     |     View the NNSA Press Release


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. More.



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.  More. 


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!  More. 


DOE Award for Concentrated Solar Power

June 12, 2018



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!  More. 


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...


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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...


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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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.

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.

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.

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...

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...

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...


Breakthrough: Energy on the Edge

December 6, 2015

Tammy Ma, a LLNL researcher and former UC San Diego PhD student in Professor Farhat Beg's Fast Ignition and Laser-Plasma Interactions group, is featured in an episode of National Geographic's Breakthrough series on developments in energy production that could avert global warming and usher in a new era of clean, safe energy.

CER collaborates on project to improve cookstove technology and policy in third-world countries  

July 2015

For the past year CER has been working with Assistant Professor at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), Jennifer Burney, on a project that will change the way families in third-world countries cook. more...

CER trains Reuben H. Fleet Science Center volunteers to help present their new energy exhibit

June 18, 2015

CER provided an information session for volunteers from Reuben H. Fleet Science Center on renewable energy sources, distribution and storage. The volunteers will support a new exhibition at Fleet, which builds on the present “So WATT!” display and is due to open early Fall 2015. more...

Rick Moyer leads outreach team in encouraging middle school girls to pursue STEM careers

March 2015

Rick Moyer, a research scientist in the Center for Energy Research, completed his 11th consecutive year of conducting workshops for the San Diego Expanding Your Horizons workshop, held in the Shiley Center for Science and Technology at the University of San Diego. The goal of these EYH events is to encourage middle and junior high school girls to consider STEM careers early enough to choose the appropriate mathematics and science classes in high school. more...

The Center for Energy Research and Lawrence Livermore Lab Collaborate on Study of ‘Matter Under Extreme Conditions’

March 2015

The Center for Energy Research (CER) at UC San Diego and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will collaborate on a new Center for Matter under Extreme Conditions (CMEC). This research involves disciplines as varied as engineering, astrophysics, and supercomputing – and gains in importance as we seek to harness the benefits of matter “in extremis.” more...

Record setting plasma fluence exposure in PISCES-B machine

March 2015

In late 2014, PISCES-B was used for a series of high-fluence plasma exposures to investigate the deuterium fuel retention properties of tungsten, when exposed to continuous plasma bombardment. The goal was to determine whether the fuel retention in the tungsten saturates with fluence, or continues to increase as a function of the plasma exposure time. more...

Bill Torre will test smart invertors under the California Energy Commission's Electric Program Investment Charge

February 2015

The Center for Energy Research's Director of Energy Storage Systems, William Torre, will lead a two-year project to conduct testing of “smart” inverters. His team will build a state-of-the art facility with grid and photovoltaic simulators, which will allow live testing under actual simulated load and photovoltaic generation conditions while in a controlled laboratory environment. more...

Farhat Beg awarded Air Force Office of Scientific Research Grant to study heavy ion acceleration

January 2015

Professor Farhat Beg of UC San Diego’s Center for Energy Research will lead a three-year project with collaborators from the University of Michigan and the Naval Research Laboratory titled State-of-the-art high-flux mono-energetic ion sources driven by ultra-intense laser pulses. The grant was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Basic Research Initiatives program. more...

High Energy Density Physics Group awarded grant to carry out experiments at Omega Laser Facility

January 2015

A team led by Professor Farhat Beg in the Center For Energy Research has been awarded a two-year grant from the National Laser Users’ Facility (NLUF). The NLUF provides university and industry access to one of the world's premier laser user facilities, the OMEGA Laser Facility. more...


Bill Torre awarded 3.3 million to lead advanced energy storage project

December 2014

UC San Diego receives $3 million award to help advance energy storage system

16 December 2014 - Jacobs School of Engineering News Center

ARPA-E Charges Program to validate novel grid-storage technologies

December 2014 - ARPA-E

A Look Inside Four Solar Labs Offers a Glimpse of What's New in PV R&D

8 November 2014 -

CER engages students with interactive exhibits at the High Tech Fair

October 2014

Summary of the 9th International Conference on Dense Z Pinches

August 2014

Bill Torre of the UCSD Center for Energy Research on Microgrid Developments, Obstacles, “Solar Happy Hour”

8 August 2014 - cross posted with Scaling Green

Summary of the 44th Annual Anomalous Absorption Conference

June 2014

Supercomputing research opportunity awarded to Chris Holland and team
May 2014

Chris McGuffey awarded Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program Grant

March 2014

CER teaches middle school girls concepts of electricity at Expanding Your Horizons workshop
March 2014



Gleaning Clues on Sunny Days From the Clouds

23 October 2012 - The New York Times

Pulsed Power Plasmas Group joins Cornell-led Center of Excellence in HED Physics.

6th US-PRC Magnetic Fusion Collaboration Workshop will be held at UCSD on July 10-12, 2012.

Researchers reach record performance for ethanol-based fuel cells 

7 June 2012 - Biofuels Digest

Best Reported Performance for Fuel Cells Operating Directly on Ethanol 

4 June 2012 - Jacobs School of Engineering News Center

CER researchers demonstrated best performance reported for fuel cells operating directly on ethanol.
4 June 2012

Summary of the 2012 Joint CMTFO - CMSO Winter School, January 8-13, 2012 in La Jolla.

President Obama Visits Solar Power Plant Using Technology Developed by UC San Diego Engineers

22 March 2012 - UC San Diego News Center

CER researcher recognized for more than 5 years of participation in Expanding Your Horizons.
7 March 2012


Results of proton beam experiments at Triton laser published in Nature Physics.
7 December 2011

Mark Tillack elected fellow of IEEE "for contributions to fusion energy technology".
21 November 2011

Farhat Beg elected fellow of IEEE "for contributions to high intensity laser matter interactions and pulsed power pinches".
21 November 2011

CER Associate Director Jan Kleissl uses space shuttle data to improve solar forecasting models.
17 November 2011

UC San Diego Researchers Map Calif. Solar Hotspots

15 November 2011 - KPBS

CMTFO to host the 2012 Joint CMTFO - CMSO Winter School, January 8-13, 2012 in La Jolla.
3 November 2011

Prof. Farhat Beg elected to the Executive Committee of the IEEE NPSS Plasma Science and Applications Committee (PSAC).
21 October 2011

CER members Lane Carlson, Leo Chousal and Brandi Pate honored with 2011 Staff Recognition Awards.
2 September 2011

Solar Panels Keep Buildings Cool, Study Says

July 2011 - Solaripedia

Dain Holdener wins American Nuclear Society "Best Student Poster" award at 15th International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Systems.
20 June 2011

CER Director Najmabadi and Assistant VCR Tynan publish a Union-Tribune editorial on the need for nuclear power.
27 March 2011



CER researcher Valerie Izzo nominated for 2009 Nuclear Fusion Award.
16 October 2009

How to Keep Nuclear Fusion Plasma Contained

15 September 2009 - Softpedia

CER members awarded a 5-year DOE Plasma Science Center grant
11 September 2009

CER members awarded a 5-year DOE Plasma Science Center grant on fundamental multiscale studies of plasma-material interactions.
11 September 2009

Going with the flow: using star power to better understand fusion

11 September 2009 - Jacobs School of Engineering News Center

Plasma power: turning fusion into a renewable energy source 

11 September 2009 - Jacobs School of Engineering News Center

UC San Diego installs high-efficiency sun-tracking solar panels

27 July 2009 - Jacobs School of Engineering News Center

UCSD scientists shed 'light' on semiconductor quandary 

14 July 2009 - Jacobs School of Engineering News Center

CER scientists obtained a 2-year grant with KLA-Tencor to develop light sources for advanced semiconductor metrology.
14 July 2009

CER members hosted successful IEEE NPSS 36th ICOPS and 23rd SOFE May 31-June 5, 2009

UCSD receives grant for solar energy

30 April 2009 - La Jolla Light via Borrego Solar

Partnership to Expand Solar Use in Calif.

17 April 2009 - KPBS

UC Davis Receives $3M from Energy Commission for Renewable Energy Programs

16 April 2009 - UC Davis News

Press release on the new California Solar Energy Collaborative, led by CER members.

Center for Energy Research participates in Expanding Your Horizons for the 5th straight year.
17 March 2009

Teresa Bartal and Steven Ross named Lawrence Scholars.
30 January 2009


CER to host the 8th International Workshop on the Physics of Wire Array Z-Pinches.
24 November 2008

Engineers Study Fusion to Search for an Energy Solution

21 November 2008 - Newswise

Growing Green Industry in San Diego

13 October 2008 - KPBS

The Call for Papers for the 36th ICOPS and 23rd SOFE has been released. The abstract deadline is January 9, 2009.

CER researcher Mark Tillack wins 2008 Technical Accomplishment Award from the American Nuclear Society Fusion Energy Division.

CER researchers nominated for 2008 Nuclear Fusion Award.

Press release on CER research on EUV lithography.

ECE Professor Ed Yu appointed as Associate Director of CER

UC San Diego researchers create enhanced light sources for lithography

9 July 2008 -Jacobs School of Engineering News Center

CER research to be highlighted on an episode of the History Channel program "Modern Marvels", entitled "Things that are hot"
5 May 2008

CER members participate in the 2008 San Diego "Expanding Your Horizons" event.

Prof. Beg selected as the winner of the 2008 IEEE/NPSS Early Achievement Award
31 March 2008

CER student Tammy Ma wins best talk award at the 2008 UCSD All-Grad Symposium
9 January 2008


CER researchers begin collaboration with Cymer Inc. on next-generation semiconductor lithography
6 September 2007

Farrokh Najmabadi wins IEEE Fusion Technolology award, to be presented at the 22nd Symposium on Fusion Engineering.
19 May 2007

Jon Spalding wins American Nuclear Society "Best Student Paper" award at 17th Topical Meeting on Fusion.
19 May 2007

Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith presents the MAE Penner Lecture on May 14 (see PDF presentation)

CER, together with the MAE department, host the 5th U.S. Combustion Meeting
March 2007

Steven Koonin, chief scientist of BP, presents the 1st CER distinguished Lecture
7 March 2007

CER Researcher Prof. Steve Buckley co-directs new $1.2-million NSF science education initiative for middle school girls.
11 January 2007

CER researchers to coordinate pertor materials experiments at the DIII-D tokamak facility
10 January 2007

UCSD researchers awarded a 3-year, $2.4M grant to study plasma confinement in tokamaks
9 January 2007

The PISCES Team was awarded a three year grant in the amount of $5.4M for research in the 2007-2009 time period.
9 January 2007


UCSD to host the 2007 High Energy Density Physics Summer School.
7 December 2006

UCSD and SDSU form a Research and Educational Consortium on Emerging Energy Technologies with SDG&E
21 November 2006

UCSD researchers to play a leading role in the Jupiter-III US-Japan collaboration on fusion nuclear technologies
17 September 2006

"Fusion Program Heats Up", from Jacobs School Pulse, summer 2006 newsletter
Summer 2006

2nd 5-year IAEA collaboration on inertial fusion energy to begin
17 Aug 2006

UCSD researchers were awarded a 3-year, $818k grant to support General Atomics on IFE target engineering studies
16 Aug 2006

New Vice Chancellor for Research Appointed
21 July 2006

The ARIES team is currently completing a 3-year study of compact stellarator power plants.
7 July 2006

UCSD Vice Chancellor of Research announces new CER director.
28 June 2006

2001 - 2005

Researchers devise improved controls for advanced tokamak fusion reactor

5 July 2005 - Jacobs School of Engineering News Center

The power of the sun...on earth

Spring 2001 - Jacobs School of Engineering Newsletter