Directory

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.

Office
5109 Scott Hall
Phone
412.268.4675
Email
venkvis@cmu.edu
Google Scholar
Venkat Viswanathan
Websites
Venkat Viswanathan’s Website

Energy Density in Batteries: Accelerating the Timeline

Electrolyte Technology: Batteries for Electric Vehicles

Education

2013 Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University

2008 BS, Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

Media mentions


Axios Future

Viswanathan predicts that electric pickups should hit primetime soon

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan predicts that electric pickups “should hit primetime over the next couple of years” now that battery costs have plunged.

CMU Engineering

Viswanathan receives Navy award for battery research

Venkat Viswanathan received a 2019 Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research to research how to improve battery safety in low temperatures.

Quartz

Viswanathan discusses future of electric planes

A battery-powered plane would be quieter, cheaper, and cleaner than the current options. But for it to be feasible, batteries would need to be safer, pack in more energy, and discharge energy more quickly. MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan says that the kind of technological leap needed for an all-electric commercial plane will likely take decades.

Quartz

Viswanathan on Audi e-tron battery

In a Quartz article, MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan discussed the discrepancy between the large battery size but low range of Audi’s first all-electric car, the new e-tron. According to Viswanathan’s calculations, “Something doesn’t add up.” He notes that because the e-tron is Audi’s first electric car, the company may be playing it safe while playing catch up to Tesla, who have had a head start in improving battery efficiency.

Scott Institute

Eight faculty receive Scott Institute seed grants for energy research

The Scott Institute recently selected awardees from the College of Engineering for its seventh round of seed grants for energy research.

CMU Engineering

Seeding energy research

Three faculty members in the Department of Mechanical Engineering received Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation’s Seed Grants for Energy Research.

Axios

Viswanathan quoted on GBatteries’ revolutionary charging method

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted in an Axios article about a newly unveiled battery and tech company, GBatteries, and their development of a faster way to charge lithium-ion batteries, which are used in electronic vehicles. Viswanathan says, “The main question is whether you can do that without degrading the battery pack.”

The Hindu

Viswanathan and Sripad co-author piece on two-wheeled EV’s

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan and Shashank Sripad recently co-authored a story on vehicle electrification in India for The Hindu.

Quartz

Viswanathan discusses motivation behind Tesla acquisition

According to MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan in Quartz, ultracapacitors probably had little to do with motivating Tesla’s recent move to acquire ultracapacitor manufacturer Maxwell Technologies.

CMU Engineering

Machine learning to develop safer batteries

Safer batteries could be made with solid electrolytes, but analyzing the properties of thousands of materials would take years. Can machine learning help researchers speed up the process?

Smithsonian Magazine

Viswanathan and team discuss electric aircraft research

A team lead by ECE’s Venkat Viswanathan authored an article in Smithsonian Magazine on their research on electric aircraft.

Swarajya Magazine

Viswanathan leads push for electric airplanes

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was recently featured in an article in Swarajya magazine for his work with entrepreneur Yet-Ming Chiang to create a viable battery-powered passenger aircraft.