Culverhouse Student and UA Engineering Student Win Regional Competition for EnergyTech University Prize

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On February 28th, two UA students won the Florida/Alabama Regional Competition for this year’s EnergyTech University Prize of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The students, engineering doctoral student Mohammad Alsmadi and STEM Path to the MBA student Anastasia Ramig, an undergraduate majoring in mathematics and physics, have been working with Culverhouses’s Dr. Rob Morgan and UA engineering professor Dr. Jaber Abu Qahouq on an NSF PFI grant for research translation towards commercialization. They pitched a product that has the ability to monitor the health of first and second-use batteries that retire from Electric Vehicles (EVs) in a variety of applications, derived from research and inventions from Abu Qahouq’s lab.

The prize consists of a $3000 award along with mentorship and the opportunity to pitch in national finals in Austin on April 3rd. “I’m really excited about the opportunity to take the project forward,” Ramig said. “I think our technology will play a big role in the coming years as we see an increase in the use of electric vehicles.” Alsmadi said, “Our technology has a great potential in facilitating the use of retired batteries.”

“Accurately monitoring the health and safety of these batteries at higher speeds is becoming more critical in general but especially for batteries that are retiring from EVs while still having 70%-80% of their capacities remaining. Translating this UA technology from research closer to commercialization is a very important next step. This is what these motivated and talented students are working on. Monitoring the health and safety of these batteries using UA technology supports their integration in several applications such as integration in renewable energy systems, backup power systems for commercial buildings and data centers, and EV charging infrastructure, among others,” Abu Qahouq said.

“The work that Dr. Abu Qahouq, Mohammad and Anastasia are doing promises to make battery-powered EVs a much more sustainable enterprise, both economically and environmentally. Being able to monitor the health of these batteries is a game-changer on both fronts. I’m very proud of Anastasia and Mohammad for taking on this challenge,” Morgan said.

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