Transformative research issues and opportunities in energy efficiency

Yip Wah Chung*, Jane Wang, Oyelayo Ajayi, Girma Biresaw, Jian Cao, Diann Hua, Walter Lapatovich, Wing K. Liu, Arun Majumdar, Farrukh Qureshi, Dong Zhu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article summarizes the discussions and deliberations on transformative research issues and opportunities in energy efficiency identified by a panel of experts assembled for the Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation Division of the US National Science Foundation. The discussions were confined to two areas - reducing energy consumption in buildings and improving energy efficiency in transportation. While these represent only a very small segment of important areas in energy efficiency, the panel considered them to be the most promising in terms of return on investment in research efforts. In the area of reducing energy consumption in buildings, high-priority research topics include information technology infrastructure for fundamental data gathering, processing and management, whole system and process integration for design and operation of smart buildings, and high-performance building components and sub-systems. In the area of energy efficiency in transportation, high-priority research topics include development of high-temperature high-performance ferrous alloys, systems design of protective coatings, fundamental understanding of surface texturing effects on friction and wear, and development of oxidatively stable bio-based lubricants. The energy challenge is serious. We need sustained investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and talent development in these new technologies for the future of our civilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Bio-based lubricants
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy-efficient lighting
  • High-performance alloys
  • Protective coatings
  • Smart buildings
  • Surface texturing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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