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OU Engineering 1 of 28 Teams Nationwide to Receive DEPSCoR Grant

October 11, 2023

OU Engineering 1 of 28 Teams Nationwide to Receive DEPSCoR Grant

Reza Foudazi

University of Oklahoma engineering researcher Reza Foudazi, Ph.D., has been selected to receive a $600,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense under the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or DEPSCoR. The highly competitive grant was awarded to only 28 academic teams nationwide. 

An associate professor in the School of Sustainable Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering, Foudazi’s research centers on the exploration of electrochemical energy storage systems that incorporate multivalent ions. He says the systems are of interest due to their potential for higher energy density when compared to conventional lithium-based systems. 

“We are dedicated to advancing the field of electrochemical energy storage. The primary goal of this research is to understand the fundamental design principles behind nanostructured thermoresponsive electrolytes for multivalent ions,” Foudazi said. 

Foudazi's team will produce ionogel electrolytes by using block copolymer surfactants that organize themselves within ionic liquids in a way that forms a unique structure known as lyotropic liquid crystals. “Ionic liquids are completely composed of ions and have the remarkable potential to transform electrochemical processes; however, their liquid nature may cause leakage and portability issues when used as electrolytes,” Foudazi said. 

“Our research has the potential to advance our understanding of electrochemical energy storage systems, particularly those utilizing multivalent ions, and may open up new avenues for high-energy-density technologies,” Foudazi said.

Foudazi is the principal investigator while Stephen Paddison, Ph.D., a chemical and bioengineering professor at the University of Tennessee, assumes the role of co-PI.

Learn more about OU Engineering. 

By Lorene A. Roberson, Gallogly College of Engineering