Carnegie Mellon University

Jay F. Whitacre

Jay F. Whitacre

Trustee Professor in Energy, Engineering and Public Policy; Materials Science and Engineering
Director, Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

  • Scott Hall 5127A
  • 412-268-1765
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • The Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, Director (2017-present) 
  • Carnegie Mellon, Professor (2015-present)
  • Carnegie Mellon, Assistant Professor (2007-2015)
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Senior Member Technical Staff (2000-2007)
  • California Institute of Technology, Postdoctoral Scholar (at JPL) (1999-2000)


  • Ph.D. (Materials Science) 1999, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • M.S.E. (Materials Science) 1997, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • B.A. With Honors (Physics) 1994, Oberlin College


Professor Whitacre examines the materials science of synthesizing, characterizing, and implementing promising materials and device architectures for energy storage and generation technologies such as Li-ion batteries, fuel cells, and photovoltaics. He will concurrently be addressing the policy implications involved with selecting and implementing these renewable technologies. Other research topics include hybrid power systems for distributed and mobile platforms, high throughput materials selection methods, and ultra fast laser modification of materials for solid-state electrochemical devices.  Whitacre has authored or co-authored over 60 peer review papers and is an inventor on over 30 patents that are issued or pending. He has numerous honors to his name, including the 2014 Caltech/Resnick Sustainability Institute Resonate Award, was listed as one of the top 25 Eco-Innovators in the world by Fortune Magazine in 2014, and was the 2015 winner of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize for Innovation. For more information, visit


View full publications list

  1. Sakti A, Michalek J, Fuchs E., Whitacre, J.F. (2014). A techno-economic analysis and optimization of Li-ion batteries for personal vehicle electrification, Journal of Power Sources, published on line, 2015.
  2. Whitacre J F, Mohamed A, Shanbhag S, Polonsky A, Carlisle K, Wu W, Gulagowski J, Smith C, Blackwood D. A Poly-Ionic Aqueous Electrolyte Large-Format Energy Storage Device Using a Composite NaTi2(PO4)3/Activated Carbon Negative electrode, Energy Technology, Published on line, Dec 2014.
  3. Kim Y.J., Wu W., Whitacre J.F., Bettinger C., (2014) Catechol-mediated Reversible Binding of Multivalent Cations in Eumelanin Half-cells, Journal of Advanced Materials, 26(38), 6572-6579.
  4. Hittinger, E., Wiley, T., Kluza, J., Whitacre, J.F., (2015) Evaluating the Value of Batteries in Microgrid Electricity Systems Using a Novel Energy System Model, Energy Conversion and Management, In Press.
  5. Hittinger, E., Apt., J., Whitacre, J.F. (2014). The effect of variability-mitigating market rules on the operation of wind power plants, Energy Systems, 5, 737-766.
  6. Wu, W., Yan, J., Rutt, A., & Whitacre, J. (2014). Using Intimate Carbon to Enhance the Performance of NaTi2 (PO4) 3 Anode Materials: Carbon Nanotubes vs Graphite. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 161(4), A561-A567.
  7. Tully, K. C., Whitacre, J., & Litster, S. (2014). Spatiotemporal electrochemical measurements across an electric double layer capacitor electrode with application to aqueous sodium hybrid batteries. Journal of Power Sources, 159, 348-355.
  8. Sakti, Michalek, J. J., Chun, & Whitacre, J. (2013). A validation study of lithium-ion cell constant C-rate discharge simulation with Battery Design Studio©. International Journal of Energy Research.
  9. Kim, Y., Chun, S., Whitacre, J., & Bettinger, C. (2013). Biologically derived melanin electrodes in aqueous sodium-ion energy storage devices. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(52), 20912-20917.
  10. Kim, Y., Chun, S., Whitacre, J., & Bettinger, C. (2013). f-deployable current sources fabricated from edible materials. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 1(31), 3781-3788.
  11. Chun, S., & Whitacre, J. (2013). Investigating the role of electrolyte acidity on hydrogen uptake in mesoporous activated carbons. Journal of Power Sources, 242, 137-140.
  12. Wu, W., Mohamed, A., & Whitacre, J. (2013). Microwave synthesized NaTi2 (PO4) 3 as an aqueous sodium-ion negative electrode. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 160(3), A497-A504.
  13. Chun, S., & Whitacre, J. (2013). Rapid carbon activation via microwave irradiation of nongraphitic carbon doped with metallic potassium and tetrahydrofuran (THF). Journal of Power Sources, 240, 206-313.
  14. Kim, Y. J., Wu, W., Chun, S.-E., Whitacre, J., & Bettinger (2013), C. J. Biologically derived melanin electrodes in aqueous sodium-ion energy storage devices. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110 (52) 20912-20917.
  15. Kim, Y. J., Chun, S. E., Whitacre, J., & Bettinger, C. J. (2013). Self-deployable current sources fabricated from edible materials. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 1, 3781-3788.
  16. Hess, K. C., Whitacre, J., & Litster, S. (2012). In Situ Measurements of Potential, Current and Charging Current across an EDL Capacitance Anode for an Aqueous Sodium Hybrid Battery. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 159(8), A1351-A1359.
  17. Hittinger, E., Whitacre, J., & Apt, J. (2012). What Properties of Grid Energy Storage are Most Valuable? Journal of Power Sources, 206, 436-449.
  18. Whitacre, J., Wiley, T., Shanbhag, S., Wenzhuo, Y., Mohamed, A., Chun, S. E., Weber, E., Blackwood, D., Lynch-Bell, E., & Gulakowski, J. (2012). An aqueous electrolyte, sodium ion functional, large format energy storage device for stationary applications. Journal of Power Sources, 213, 255-264.
  19. Zhong, M., Kim, E. K., McGann, J. P., Chun, S.-E., Whitacre, J., Jaroniec, M., Matyjaszewski, K., & Kowalewski, T. (2012). Electrochemically Active Nitrogen-Enriched Nanocarbons with Well-Defined Morphology Synthesized by Pyrolysis of Self-Assembled Block Copolymer. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 134(36), 14846-14857.
  20. McGann, J. P., Zhong, M., Kim, E. K., Natesakhawat, S., Jaroniec, M., Whitacre, J., Matyjaszewski, K., & Kowalewski, T. (2012). Block Copolymer Templating as a Path to Porous Nanostructured Carbons with Highly Accessible Nitrogens for Enhanced (Electro)chemical Performance. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 213(11-Oct), 1078-1090.

Research Interests

Materials for energy technologies, power system design and implementation, energy storage and generation (emphasis on Li-ion batteries, fuel cells, and solar power).