Dr. Smirnova is the Director of the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) Center for Solid-State Electric Power Generation and Storage (CEPS) and a tenured Associate Professor at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) affiliated with the Chemistry and Applied Biological Sciences (CABS) department, Materials Engineering and Science (MES) program, and the Electrical Engineering department. Her expertise is reflected in over 200 publications focused mainly on sustainable energy and energy generation and storage. Dr. Smirnova served as the PI on many national and international projects funded by ACS, NASA, DOE, DOD, and NATO. As the NATO project Director, Dr. Smirnova supervised an International NATO Science for Peace project “SOFCs for energy security” involving many US and European academic and industrial institutions. In 2018 Dr. Smirnova has initiated the first graduate program in SD emphasizing the importance of eco-friendly concepts of sustainable energy.
Dr. Duane Abata is the co-Director of CEPS and a Full Professor of mechanical engineering at SDSMT. His expertise is in thermosciences, combustion, physics, and chemistry. He is past director of the IUCRC ‘Center for BioEnergy Research and Development’ (2010 – 2015). In 2001-03 Dr. Abata was a program manager at NSF and worked directly with Alex Schwarzkopf on the IUCRC program. Dr. Abata has held several administrative positions during his academic career including Dean of Engineering at three institutions and past president of ASEE.
Dr. Numan-Al-Mobin is a Research Scientist at the SDSMT graduated from SDSMT in 2017. His expertise involves the areas of radio frequency devices, security printing, biomass reforming, and energy generation and storage which is reflected in over 25 peer-reviewed articles. He serves as the CEPS Assistant Director. His responsibilities include participation in discovery interviews, analysis of the value proposition for potential CEPS members from different industry sectors, CEPS networking, and the overall supervision of the CEPS website.
Dr. Fitzgerald is currently a CEPS Marketing Strategy and Customer Insight Consultant and an Entrepreneur in Residence at SDSMT. Dr. Fitzgerald assists with commercialization of technology developed at SDSMT. Her professional experience spans both academia and the private sector. She has expertise in the use of analogical reasoning and metaphors when developing and communicating about complex, disruptive, or intangible new products. Dr. Fitzgerald was formerly a full-time Professor of Marketing in the M.B.A. programs at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Notre Dame. She joined the executive team of one university-affiliated startup full time, serving as the Chief Innovation Officer at a neuromarketing startup linked to UCLA, where she earned her doctorate. She recently returned to SD and is focused on developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Black Hills.
Dr. Qiao is a CEPS Site Director at the South Dakota State University (SDSU). He is Harold C Hohbach Professor and graduate coordinator in Electrical Engineering. His current research focuses on biomedical sensors, agriculture sensors, polymer photovoltaics, dye-sensitized solar cells, perovskite solar cells, and lithium-ion batteries. Dr. Qiao has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers in leading journals including Energy and Environmental Science, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, Advanced Energy Materials, Joule, and Nano Energy, etc. He has received 2016 Faculty Award for Global Engagement: Excellence in International Research, 2014 F O Butler Award for Excellence in Research at SDSU, 2010 US NSF CAREER, and 2009 Bergmann Memorial Award from the US-Israel Bi-national Science Foundation.
Dr. Zhou is an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering and the SDSU Site Associate Director. He is an His research mainly lies in energy harvesting and storage devices such as lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries, supercapacitors, and mechanical energy harvesting devices based on advanced materials and configurations. He has published peer-reviewed papers in many leading journals including Advanced Materials, Energy and Environmental Science, Advanced Energy Materials, and Nano Energy.
Dr. Mukerjee, a tenured Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, serves as the Northeastern University (NEU) Site Director. He is a Faculty Director of the Center “Northeastern University for Renewable Energy Technology” (NUCRET) that leads the national and worldwide efforts in developing fuel cells, as well as novel chemistries for advanced rechargeable batteries for real life applications ranging from portable power to large scale energy storage (lithium-ion, lithium-air, lithium-oxygen, sodium-air, and hydrogen-bromine).
Dr. Pann is an Executive Director for the NEU Renewable Energy Technology (NUCRET) center and the NEU Site Associate Director. brings to NUCRET over 25 years of combined academic, engineering, business, international collaboration, and entrepreneurial experience. His background is in the areas of materials science, physical metallurgy, technology development, characterization and deployment for non-equilibrium systems, powder metallic, ceramic and composites, intercalated battery materials and high temperature ceramic fuel cells.
Dr. Wang, a tenured Associate Professor in the Chemistry Department at the University of South Dakota (USD). He currently serves as the USD Site Director. His research interests are focused on supramolecular materials chemistry and applications, including molecular separation, delivery, sensing, and catalysis. He has published over 35 peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals such as Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie, Chemical Society Reviews, etc. In 2014 he received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award and the USD President’s Research Award (Early-Mid Career) in 2015. He is currently serving as the PI on three active NSF grants.
Dr. Vlaisavljevich is an Assistant Professor at the USD and serves as the USD Site Associate Director. She earned her PhD degree from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in 2013. She performed postdoctoral research at the University of California Berkeley (2013 to 2015) and at the Northwestern University (2015 to 2017). Her expertise is in computational chemistry, specifically in understanding complex electronic structure in inorganic complexes, adsorption in nano-porous materials, and multireference methods. She has published more than 40 peer-reviewed papers covering topics including heavy element chemistry, metal organic frameworks, gas adsorption, and molecular magnetism.