Fri. Sep 22nd, 2023
    The University of Texas at Dallas Receives $30 Million from the Department of Defense to Develop Battery Technologies

    The University of Texas at Dallas has been awarded $30 million over three years from the Department of Defense (DOD) to advance the development and commercialization of new battery technologies and manufacturing processes. This funding will also be used to enhance the availability of critical raw materials and train workers for jobs in the expanding battery energy storage industry. The university will establish an Energy Storage Systems Campus, which is the largest federal allocation the institution has ever received. Private capital, intellectual property, and technology-based economic development worth over $200 million will be leveraged and stimulated by this project.

    Dr. Kyeongjae Cho, professor of materials science and engineering, will lead the project as the director of the Batteries and Energy to Advance Commercialization and National Security (BEACONS) center. The BEACONS center will focus on four main goals: optimizing existing battery systems, fostering the development of new battery chemistries that reduce the use of scarce raw materials, identifying and addressing supply chain challenges for critical minerals, and developing a workforce skilled in energy storage system development and manufacturing.

    The National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries 2021-2030, published by the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries, highlights the importance of supporting scientific research, education, and workforce development in battery technology. The collaboration between UTD and the DOD is a response to these national priorities.

    UTD researchers will work on developing safer, longer-lasting, and more efficient next-generation battery technology, including alternatives to traditional lithium-ion cells. The university will construct a research facility within the Richardson Innovation Quarter to support these efforts. The facility will be used for developing and manufacturing next-generation batteries and energy storage solutions tailored to defense applications.

    In addition to research and development, UTD will also partner with community colleges in North Texas to provide training for future employees in the battery energy storage industry. A projected 130,000 additional workers will be needed in the industry in the U.S. by 2030, with a significant portion of these jobs located in Texas.

    This collaboration between UTD, industry partners, and the DOD aims to ensure the reliable domestic manufacture of lithium-ion cells and battery packs for defense and commercial systems. The initiative will not only drive innovation in battery technology but also contribute to economic growth and bolster national security.

    Sources: The University of Texas at Dallas