An Indian American adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at U.C. Berkeley, Ravi Prasher, and his colleagues at Berkeley Lab have pioneered efforts to use computing power to discover new materials for lithium ion batteries of the future, the university said in a news release.
Research on the batteries — the power source for cellphones and nearly every piece of electronics we use daily — began at U.C. Berkeley some 50 years ago, according to the university news item.
Today, battery research continues on campus and at Berkeley Lab to create the next revolution: cheaper technology that can store the huge amount of renewable energy produced every day, yet wasted because it comes intermittently or when people need it least, it said.
Prasher’s group synthesizes the materials and makes devices to test them in the real world. Researchers are doing what they must: moving toward a future when we can assure steady, flexible and economical clean energy, the report noted.
In a talk last May at the Cal Future Forum, Prasher, who serves as the director of the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources Division at Berkeley Lab, described the group’s strategy for finding new materials for next-generation batteries that will allow us to use renewable energy on demand.
Prasher earned a B.Tech in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, a B.Tech in mechanical engineering at IIT Delhi and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University.
Prasher worked at Intel for more than a decade before becoming the program director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.
He has also worked at Sheetak Inc. and as an adjunct professor at Arizona State before going to Berkeley in 2015.