Carnegie Mellon University

Venkat Viswanathan

Venkat Viswanathan

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

  • Scott Hall 5109
5000 Forbes Avenue
Scott Hall 5109
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Venkat Viswanathan's research focus is on identifying the scientific principles governing material design, inorganic, organic and biomaterials, for novel energy conversion and storage routes. His awards include National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2016; American Chemical Society PRF Young Investigator in 2014; Finalist in MIT TR Innovators Under 35 in 2014; Electrochemical Society Daniel Cubicciotti Award in 2010; Electrochemical Society Herbert H. Uhligh Summer Fellow in 2009.


Ph.D., Stanford University 

B.Tech/M.Tech Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras 


Viswanathan's research interests are in energy storage, specifically advanced lithium-ion batteries.


Viswanathan's current research projects include:

  • Developing next generation batteries for electric vehicles
  • Designing Li-O2 batteries for electric aircraft
  •  Machine-learning unified synchronous experimentation 
  • New catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction analysis


  • C. M. Burke, V. Pande, A. Khetan, V. Viswanathan, and B. D. McCloskey, Solvating Additives Drive Enhancing electrochemical intermediate solvation through electrolyte anion selection to increase nonaqueous Li-O2 battery capacity, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A, (2015) 112, 9293-929
  • N.B. Aetukuri, B. D. McCloskey, L. Krupp, V. Viswanathan, and A. Luntz, Solvating Additives Drive Solution-mediated Electrochemistry and Enhance Toroid Growth in Non-aqueous Li-O2 Batteries, Nature Chemistry, (2015) 7, 50-56
  • V. Viswanathan, V. Pande, K. M. Abraham, A. Luntz, B. D. McCloskey, D. Addison, Comment on “Cycling Li-O2 batteries via LiOH formation and decomposition”, Science, (2016) (in press).
  • Y. J. Kim, A. Khetan, W. Wu, S-E. Chun, V. Viswanathan, J. Whitacre, C. J. Bettinger, Evidence of Porphyrin-like Structures in Natural Melanin Pigments Using Electrochemical Fingerprinting, Adv. Mater., (2016) DOI: 10.1002/adma.201504650. 
  • V. Viswanathan, H. A. Hansen J. K. Nørskov, Selective Electrochemical Generation of Hydrogen Peroxide from Water Oxidation, J. Phys. Chem. Lett., (2015) 6, 4224-4228 

More Publications 

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Venkat Viswanathan discusses how to improve energy density in batteries on a much faster time scale than in the past.