yellow rapeseed flower and wind energyWelcome to Energy at Illinois

You have reached the access point for energy-related research conducted across campus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Please check out the main areas of energy research excellence and the numerous cross-cutting energy research areas at Illinois below.

Or click on the Energy at Illinois menu to read more about energy-related campus centers and initiatives, facilities and laboratories. Learn more about Illinois Energy Scholars and the Energy Council, and the many research, educational, speaking, and career opportunities available.

If you navigate to one of the areas of excellence pages or the council and scholars page, you will find a search menu for scholars by research area.


Illinois Energy Scholars: Researching Multiple Sources of Clean Energy!

Alternate, clean energy sources are a major push in the Illinois Climate Action Plan, and Illinois researchers are playing a role in studying current — and future — sources to power campus and the world without burning fossil fuels! In 2020, iSEE was thrilled to engage with three new initiatives exploring clean power sources:


  • LOW-TEMPERATURE GEOTHERMAL: U of I scientists and engineers intend to work with national and international geothermal practitioners, decision makers, and stakeholders to develop a research program in low-temperature geothermal exchange, direct use heating and cooling, and underground thermal energy storage. The Illinois Geothermal Coalition is working to make Illinois the leading Midwest institution for geothermal energy research. Learn more at >>>
  • NUCLEAR MICROREACTOR: Researchers from the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering and partners are pursuing a major grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to bring a research micro-reactor to the Illinois campus. Advanced micro-reactors are small (can fit in a truck), go 20 years without refueling, use tiny fuel particles, have new shutdown technology, and could produce nearly 13% of campus energy needs. Learn more at Illinois Microreactor Project >>>
  • HYDROGEN ENERGY: The Grainger College of Engineering and Argonne National Laboratory have established the Midwestern Hydrogen Partnership to advance and promote the development and adoption of hydrogen technologies for the Midwest, to enable collaborations with industry, academic partners, and stakeholders across the Midwest, and to help create economic development opportunities throughout the region. Learn more at hydrogen >>>
Past and current efforts on campus

During the past decade, Facilities & Services (F&S) has led efforts to build Solar Farm 1 and Solar Farm 2 on campus, and iSEE has urged F&S to pursue a significant purchase of more solar off campus to go along with an earlier purchase of wind energy from an Illinois wind farm. Other pilot programs have explored geothermal and biomass to heat facilities.

In addition to various faculty experts on alternative energy, faculty in iSEE’s Campus as a Living Laboratory program are exploring new options with solar, wind, geothermal, and other sources. Read more on our CALL page >>>

Energy Scholars at Work

(click to enlarge images and view as a slide show; more scholars’ studies profiled on each of the Areas of Excellence landing pages)



  • Fossil Fuels: Coal, Oil, Gas
  • Biofuels
  • Renewables: Wind, Solar
  • Geothermal
  • Nuclear
  • Electricity
  • Hydrogen


  • Pipeline
  • Rail
  • Tankers
  • Grid
  • Hydrogen
  • Residential


  • Batteries
  • Flywheels
  • Compressed Air
  • Molten Salt
  • Hydrogen
  • Fuel Cells
  • Water / Ice


  • Motors
  • Engines: IC
  • Transport
  • Residential / Commercial / Industrial
  • LEDs
  • Fuel Cells
  • Heaters



  • Wind farm improvements
  • Better solar energy harvest
  • Motor design and operation
  • Microelectronics


  • Waste reduction and repurposing
  • Carbon capture
  • CO2 for agriculture
  • Environmental impacts
  • Water supply


  • Synthesis and processing
  • Storage and harvesting
  • Heat conversion
  • Nanoscale


  • Mechanics
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • High-temperature properties
  • Thermal-chemical systems
  • Analysis of future technologies


  • Metal in electrochemistry
  • Next-generation batteries
  • Electrocatalysis
  • Molecular structure
  • Carbon-neutral energy


  • Communication
  • Control
  • Security of grid
  • Security of power plants


  • Risk assessment and modeling
  • Human, systems, software, and structure reliability
  • Emergency response


  • Electricity planning and markets
  • Services and pricing
  • Supply and demand
  • System economics
  • Public policy

iSEE Congress 2016 — “Energy 2030: Paths to a sustainable future”

This year’s Congress united energy experts across disciplines for a discussion of the future of energy. We left no stone unturned as we look at the way we generate renewable energies, how we put them on the grid, how we make them available to people worldwide, and what coming next to make our buildings and cars as efficient as possible. Videos Now Available! Re-watch presentations from our expert speakers and share them with your colleagues who may have missed the Congress. Check out our iSEE Congress 2016 playlist on YouTube to recap the possibilities for a low-carbon future.