Carnegie Mellon University

Paul A. Salvador

Paul Salvador is the Interim Director of EST&P and a Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) department. His initial research at Carnegie Mellon focused on epitaxial thin films of electronic ceramics, especially discovering how to make entirely new materials through structural templating. During his nearly 20-year career at Carnegie Mellon, his work has expanded greatly towards the design and characterization of materials for energy conversion applications. One area of research looks at ceramics and composite materials used in electrodes of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) for distributed power generation. Another area aims to understand the design of materials for solar fuel production, or artificial photosynthesis for hydrogen production from water. 

Professor Salvador has integrated these research themes with the EST&P materials concentration. Ratiporn (Noey) Munprom (MS 2011) did her EST&P project work with Professor Salvador on solid oxide fuel cells, and she subsequently did her MSE Ph.D. research with Professors Rohrer and Salvador on understanding photocatalysts. Professor Salvador also integrates these two energy themes in an MSE disciplinary concentration course (taught since 2011) entitled “Materials for Future Energy Systems” (27-728). Students in the course learn the material challenges for integrating economic solar hydrogen production with economic SOFC power generation.

Professor Salvador made his inaugural debut as an EST&P core faculty member in the fall 2017, teaching “Energy Conversion and Supply” (39-610). He thoroughly enjoyed teaching this core energy course because, while he was able to share the foundational thermodynamic underpinning of energy conversion with students, the interdisciplinary student teams shared, through their course projects, extensive specific information on practical energy conversion across most energy resources and as implemented around the globe. He especially enjoyed participating in / moderating class discussions, because “the diverse backgrounds and interests of the EST&P students led to widely varying perspectives on almost all energy issues.” Professor Salvador aims to continually refresh and update the material to make it as enjoyable and enriching as possible.

Professor Salvador came to Carnegie Mellon excited about the interdisciplinary materials research occurring across campus. This has been reinforced during his tenure at Carnegie Mellon, where the interdisciplinary approach to research and learning fostered by the university has allowed him to work in partnership with many other CMU professors, including Professors Bain (ECE), De Graef (MSE), Kitchin (ChemE), Litster (MechE), Picard (MSE), Gellman (Chem E), Rohrer (MSE), Rollett (MSE), and Skowronski (MSE). Professor Salvador is excited to continue this accommodating interdisciplinary tradition as Interim Director of the EST&P program. In his free time, Professor Salvador enjoys playing competitive soccer in adult leagues across Pittsburgh, attending and participating in other sporting events, and venturing out with his three children to the many Pittsburgh museums and nature attractions. Professor Salvador encourages incoming EST&P students to "follow your passion for energy by exploring the many opportunities across campus, and take full advantage of the myriad of enriching activities that Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh have to offer.”

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