Jay Whitacre is the Trustee Professor in Energy with a joint appointment in the Departments of Engineering and Public Policy and Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He examines the materials science of synthesizing, characterizing, and implementing promising materials and device architectures for energy storage and generation technologies such as Li-ion batteries, fuel cells, and photovoltaics. He will concurrently be addressing the policy implications involved with selecting and implementing these renewable technologies. Other research topics for Whiteacre include hybrid power systems for distributed and mobile platforms, high throughput materials selection methods, and ultra fast laser modification of materials for solid-state electrochemical devices.

Whitacre has authored or co-authored over 60 peer review papers and is an inventor on over 30 patents that are issued or pending. He has numerous honors to his name, including the 2014 Caltech/Resnick Sustainability Institute Resonate Award, was listed as one of the top 25 Eco-Innovators in the world by Fortune Magazine in 2014, and was the 2015 winner of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Innovation.

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Jay Whitacre


1999 Ph.D., Materials Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

1997 Master of Science in Engineering, Materials Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

1994 BA, Physics, Oberlin College

Media mentions

Engineering and Public Policy

Charged to make change

Hannah Morin, a dual Ph.D. major in materials science and engineering and engineering and public policy, began her tenure in GSA as a representative in the assembly for EPP, and has since progressed to vice president of campus affairs, and has now been president of the organization since December 2022.

CMU Engineering

Powering a vision for the future

Ankur Gupta (MSE’10) is working to develop the battery technologies needed to bring augmented and mixed reality products to market at Meta.

The Pittsburgh Business Times

Whitacre’s start-up Stratus Materials featured in The Pittsburgh Business Times

MSE/EPP’s Jay Whitacre’s start-up company Stratus Materials was featured in The Pittsburgh Business Times for its advancement toward a cobalt-free cathode manufacturing plant.

Business Wire

Whitacre comments on his cathode materials company emerging from stealth

MSE’s Jay Whitacre comments on his cathode materials company, Stratus Materials, coming out of stealth-mode in Business Wire.

Materials Science and Engineering

Joint MSE/EPP Ph.D. degrees enable energy access research

It was Katrina Ramirez-Meyers’ experience serving as a high school teacher in a small West African town without electricity that sparked her interest in batteries and energy storage.

Instigators of Change

Whitacre interviewed on environmentally friendly batteries

Scott Institute Director Jay Whitacre was interviewed in a podcast on how batteries can still have a negative impact on the environment.

The Daily Beast

Whitacre quoted on lithium-ion batteries

Scott Institute Director Jay Whitacre was quoted in The Daily Beast on lithium-ion batteries and their effect on climate disaster.

CMU Engineering

Team builds tools, innovations to support federal investment

With major investments in infrastructure and innovation pending, a multi-disciplinary initiative lead by EPP’s Erica Fuchs is building the tools and innovations to inform government decisions.

CMU Engineering

AI-fueled batteries

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.

Carnegie Mellon University Africa

EST&P project course responds to Africa’s energy access challenges

This past spring semester, about a dozen master’s students in Carnegie Mellon University’s Energy Science, Technology and Policy (EST&P) Project Course worked hands-on with batteries to potentially identify re-use applications that could improve Africa’s energy access problem.


Whitacre on EVs and lithion-ion batteries

Scott Institute Director Jay Whitacre was quoted by Fortune in an article discussing the race to solve lithium-ion battery recycling as electric vehicles (EVs) gradually become more common over the next decade.


Whitacre comments on VW’s new challenge of building battery cells

Scott Institute Director Jay Whitacre suggests VW’s new challenge by pointing out that the battery cells they plan to build have to be identical from a quality perspective.