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Two OU Researchers Receive NSF EPSCoR Research Fellowships

January 12, 2024

Two OU Researchers Receive NSF EPSCoR Research Fellowships

Chenghao Wang and Dong Zhang
Chenghao Wang (left) and Dong Zhang

Two University of Oklahoma researchers have funding from the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-4: EPSCoR Research Fellowships to build institutional research capacity and help early career faculty develop their research programs.

Chenghao Wang, an assistant professor in the School of Meteorology and Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, will receive an expected $295,683 grant for his project “An Integrated Urban Meteorological and Building Stock Modeling Framework to Enhance City-level Building Energy Use Predictions.”

This project supports the development of an integrated urban building energy modeling framework that aims to enhance the predictive understanding of city-level building energy use under various local and regional meteorological conditions. It builds upon research he recently published in the journal Nature Communications. Wang also received seed funding in 2023 from the Data Institute for Societal Challenges to support this research.

“This award supports the development of an innovative integrated modeling framework. By combining multiscale urban meteorological models with physics-based building stock models, our project aims to revolutionize current building stock modeling approaches and enable more realistic, accurate, and computationally efficient predictions of urban building energy use at scale,” Wang said. “The award not only provides access to world-class facilities and research resources at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) but also strengthens the ongoing partnership between my group and NREL.”

Dong Zhang, an assistant professor in the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, will receive an expected $292,402 grant for his project “Enable Next-Generation Solid-State Batteries via Dynamic Modeling and Control: Theory and Experiments.”

This project aims to advance the state-of-the-art in energy storage systems by promoting the understanding of emerging solid-state batteries to realize improved safety and performance via dynamic modeling, control and experiments. This award builds upon Zhang’s research that received funding from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnership’s Junior Faculty Fellowship Program and seed funding from the Data Institute for Societal Challenges.

“State-of-the-art lithium-ion battery technology has reached its theoretical maximum energy density. Electrification of power-critical sectors such as aviation, long-haul trucks, and electric vehicles also promotes a quest for pushing the battery performance envelope towards even higher energy density while still delivering on power density and cost,” Zhang said. “Our research explores the frontiers of next generation solid-state batteries that could produce significant improvements in safety, energy density, and fast charging capability, and can enable faster dissemination of electrified transportation.”

Learn more about Wang’s research through the Sustainable Urban Futures Lab or Zhang’s research through the Energy Systems and Control Lab at the University of Oklahoma.

Wang’s project, Award no. 2327435, and Zhang’s project, Award no. 2327327, both began on Jan. 1, 2024, and are expected to conclude on Dec. 31, 2025.