Skip To Main Content
Dr. Jodie Lutkenhaus
Dr. Jodie Lutkenhaus | Image: Engineering Communications

A paper by Dr. Jodie Lutkenhaus, professor and Axalta Coating Systems Chair in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been selected as the winner of the 2019 Molecular Systems Design & Engineering (MSDE) Outstanding Early Career Paper Award. The award-winning paper, “Design of Multifunctional Supercapacitor Electrodes Using an Informatics Approach,” was co-authored by Dr. Raymundo Arroyave, professor, Presidential Impact Fellow and Chancellor EDGES Fellow, from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

In the paper, the research team examined the selection and design of supercapacitor electrodes for application in structural energy and power. According to Lutkenhaus, the research is focused on two properties in particular. “The goal is to design supercapacitors that are both electrochemically superior and mechanically robust. The challenge is that these two properties are often at odds with each other, and the route to maximizing both is not immediately clear. Therefore, informatics were employed to tease out which composition would provide the best combination of these properties specific to electrodes containing reduced graphene oxide, aramid nanofibers and carbon nanotubes,” she said. By employing informatics principles to the research, Lutkenhaus and the team were able to develop a greater understanding of the relationship of the different materials and the resulting energy storage and mechanical properties.

The research project was one of the first to result from Texas A&M’s National Science Foundation-sponsored Data-Enabled Discovery and Design of Energy Materials program (D3EM), which blends materials science, informatics and engineering design theory. Lutkenhaus said her participation in the D3EM program led directly to this breakthrough. “We teamed up with Professor Raymundo Arroyave (D3EM program director) to apply data science to an AFOSR-sponsored (Air Force Office of Scientific Research) project out of our lab. I think it is a great example of what results when scientists and researchers step outside of their comfort zone.”

As this research is a direct result of the cross-discipline D3EM program, Lutkenhaus said that MSDE was the perfect place to publish the results. “Molecular Systems Design & Engineering is a great venue for materials informatics and design research because the editors and the reviewers understand and appreciate this emerging field. In other venues, it can be harder to publish because the cross-disciplinary effort may not be holistically considered.”

More information on this research and the MSDE Outstanding Early Career Paper Award can be found on the Molecular Systems Design & Engineering Blog.