Venkat Viswanathan is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Viswanathan’s research focus is on identifying the scientific principles governing material design, inorganic, organic, and biomaterials, for novel energy conversion and storage routes. The material design is carried out through a suite of computational methods being developed in his group, and validated by experiments. Some key research thrusts include identifying principles of electrolytes design (organic material) that can tune electrode catalysis, identification of new anode, cathode (inorganic materials), and electrolyte materials for next generation batteries, and new electrocatalysts (inorganic) and biomaterials for energy storage and separation applications. In addition to material design, his group is involved in several cross-cutting areas such as battery controls, electric vehicle security, and GPU accelerated computing.
Viswanathan received the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 2019, Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry in 2018, the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2016, the American Chemical Society PRF Young Investigator Award in 2014, and the Electrochemical Society Daniel Cubicciotti Award in 2010. He was a finalist for MIT TR Innovators Under 35 in 2014, and was an Electrochemical Society Herbert H. Uhligh Summer Fellow in 2009.
Energy Density in Batteries: Accelerating the Timeline
Electrolyte Technology: Batteries for Electric Vehicles
2013 Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
2008 BS, Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
A team of CMU mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering researchers are using AI to optimize battery electrolyte designs, and they found new electrolytes that researchers hadn’t thought of.
Viswanathan quoted on battery breakthrough
MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted in multiple outlets—including Fortune, Wired, MIT Technology Review, The Verge, and The Mobilist—on a new breakthrough in battery technology.
Viswanathan interviewed about batteries
MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was interviewed by Bloomberg Green on batteries for electric cars and airplanes.
The surprising strength of liquid crystals
In the quest for safer and longer-lasting batteries for electric cars, trucks, and planes, researchers explore a new class of materials to suppress the formation of dendrites.
Viswanathan quoted on batteries
MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted in the Financial Times on batteries.
Viswanathan named an Innovator Under 35
Venkat Viswanathan has been named one of MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35, recognized for his work to develop a new type of battery that could make electric vehicles cheaper and more energy efficient.
Viswanathan quoted on batteries
MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted in Clean Technica on soft solid electrolytes in batteries.
Viswanathan published on electric vehicle batteries
MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan and Ph.D. students Alexander Bills and Shashank Sripad published an article in The Conversation on their electric vehicle battery research.
Viswanathan on autonomous, electric cars
MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan spoke with Bloomberg about the current debate between the two most prominent technologies in the car industry: autonomous driving and electric cars. “We’re getting to a point where we won’t need to choose between autonomous driving and electric cars,” he said.
The electric future of autonomous vehicles
A team of CMU Engineering researchers has shown that autonomous vehicles can be electric—despite the decreased driving range.
Viswanathan establishes battery design rules
MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan established design rules for how solid-ion conductors suppress dendrites.
Solid-ion conductors for safer batteries
Venkat Viswanathan and collaborators at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory investigate how a solid-ion conductor – a component that can be used as a separator between the anode and the electrolyte in a battery – can prevent dendrites.