On March 21, 2023, ten graduate students and three undergraduates gathered at the MIT Welcome Center to compete in the MIT Energy Initiative’s (MITEI) Energy Storage Student Slam. The students gave quick, dynamic presentations—each limited to three minutes—on energy storage research that they had recently completed or were currently working on at the Institute.
The slam followed the completion of MITEI’s The Future of Energy Storage report and study, which explored the role energy storage can play in combatting climate change and the adoption of clean energy systems worldwide. Building on that theme, the event highlighted additional research taking place at MIT in the energy storage space. Topics ranged from the use of flame-assisted spray pyrolysis to create better battery materials to the role of pumped hydro storage in power sector decarbonization to a thermochemical approach to producing low-cost green hydrogen.
The competition was divided into two parts: The graduate students presented first, followed by the undergraduates, with separate judging for each group. The graduate student winners were Jim Owens (first), Aniket Patankar (second), and Mrigi Munjal (third). The undergraduate student winners were Pamela Duke (first), Melissa Stok (second), and Anakha Ganesh (third).
The Energy Storage Student Slam was emceed by MITEI’s Director of Education Antje Danielson. Credit: Kelley Travers
Pamela Duke, a senior majoring in finance and minoring in economics and environment and sustainability, won first place in the undergraduate student competition. In her presentation, she discussed using the En-ROADS climate solutions model to engage with utilities on decarbonization strategies. Credit: Kelley Travers
Carlos Díaz-Marín, a graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, presented his work developing ultra moisture-hungry hydrogels that have exceptional water capture capabilities and can be used for waste heat storage and reuse. Credit: Kelley Travers
The third-place award went to Mrigi Munjal, a graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, who described her project on unlocking industrial-scale sodium-ion batteries. Credit: Kelley Travers
MITEI Director of Education Antje Danielson (left) presented the first-place award in the graduate student competition to Jim Owens, a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering who conducts research at the intersection of electric vehicles and renewable energy systems. Credit: Kelley Travers
This article appears in the Spring 2023 issue of Energy Futures.