SEI and PNNL Explore Research Collaborations on Energy Grid

On November 19th, the Strategic Energy Institute (SEI) co-hosted an invitation only seminar with the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL), designed as a broad overview of the current state of electric grid research at GT and PNNL and lay out potential pathways for future collaborative research.  This seminar was the first in a series of jointly sponsored virtual seminars designed to provide researchers insights into the capacity of each organization’s research portfolio as it relates to research topics of mutual interest. Georgia Tech faculty and PNNL researchers took turns sharing the electric grid research currently being conducted at their respective organizations, followed by lively discussion regarding areas where working together would make the most impact. The energy and enthusiasm for these collaborations among the seminar participants electrified the group, leaving the participants amped up and eager to begin working with their new partners.

Jeff Dangle of PNNL spoke of the profound shift that is occurring to the electric grid as the U.S. adopts a more decentralized power structure that will require “resilient and robust protection and control”. Developing the technology to support this need will be made possible in part due to the GT microgrid at Tech Square, which allows researchers to test new energy technologies like cutting edge fuel cells, generators, and batteries that would be difficult to test on the larger electric grid. This was one example of the many areas of potential collaborative research efforts that were highlighted in this seminar.

“This seminar was the first step in developing strong collaborations between GT and PNNL – partnerships that will help advance new ideas and deliver high impact solutions” commented Tim Lieuwen, the Executive Director of the Strategic Energy Institute.

On October 23rd, 2020, Georgia Tech and PNNL entered into a 5 year formal agreement to bolster the interactions, collaborations, and joint scientific output of both institutions. Find out more information here:


Sharon Murphy, Research Associate, Strategic Energy Institute