News & Events

3 News items and Awards were found.

  •  NEWS   Scott Bortoff gave Mercer Distinguished Lecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Date: September 25, 2019
    Where: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY
    MERL Contact: Scott Bortoff
    Research Areas: Control, Multi-Physical Modeling
    • The seminar, entitled “HVAC System Control and Optimization,” was part of the Mercer Distinguished Lecture Series in the Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, NY. Given on Wednesday September 25, 2019, it focused on the systems engineering and control issues associated with highly integrated Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Systems for low and zero energy buildings.
  •  NEWS   The Ab Initio paper selected as "HOT Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics article" and is made free to access the end of July 2019
    Date: June 12, 2019
    Where: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics – Published 22 Feb 2019
    MERL Contact: Chungwei Lin
    Research Areas: Applied Physics, Multi-Physical Modeling
    • The journal "Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (PCCP)" selects a few well-received articles highlighted as HOT by the handling editor or referees. The following paper "Band Alignment in Quantum Wells from Automatically Tuned DFT+U" with MERL authors Grigory Kolesov, Chungwei Lin, Andrew Knyazev, Keisuke Kojima, Joseph Katz has been selected as a 2019 HOT Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics article, and is made free to access until the end of July 2019. This paper provides a semi-empirical methodology to compute the lattice and electronic structures of systems composed of 400+ atoms. The efficiency of this method allows for realistic simulations of interfaces between semiconductors, which is nearly impossible using the existing methods due to the extremely large degrees of freedom involved. The formalism is tested against a few established band alignments and then applied to determine the band gaps of quantum wells; the agreement is within the experimental uncertainty.
  •  NEWS   MERL collaborates with MIT on heat management in compact fusion reactors
    Date: October 11, 2018
    MERL Contact: Christopher Laughman
    Research Area: Multi-Physical Modeling
    • A new approach to heat management in compact fusion reactors that emerged from a class at MIT, developed by graduate student Adam Kuang and 14 other MIT students, engineers from Commonwealth Fusion Systems as well as Piyush Grover and Chris Laughman from MERL, and Professor Dennis Whyte, was recently published in Fusion Engineering and Design. This solution was made possible by an innovative approach to compact fusion reactors, using high-temperature superconducting magnets. This method formed the basis for a massive new research program launched this year at MIT and the creation of an independent startup company to develop the concept. The new design, unlike that of typical fusion plants, would make it possible to open the device's internal chamber and replace critical components; this capability is essential for the newly proposed heat-draining mechanism.

      In the one-semester graduate class 22.63 (Principles of Fusion Engineering), students were divided into teams to address different aspects of the heat rejection challenge. These teams evaluated alternate concepts and subjected candidate designs to detailed calculations and simulations based, in part, on data from decades of research on research fusion devices such as MIT's Alcator C-Mod, which was retired two years ago. C-Mod scientist Brian LaBombard also shared insights on new kinds of divertors, and two engineers from MERL worked with the team as well. Several of the students continued working on the project after the class ended, ultimately leading to the solution described in this new paper.