Cockrell School of Engineering buildings skyline with trees


energy graphic
Aerial view of the city of Austin skyline

The energy landscape has entered a period of transformation, driven by increased demand, rapid technology development and the global push to achieve net-zero emissions. Texas is one of the most energy resource-rich states in the country and is uniquely positioned to lead the innovation underpinning next-generation energy solutions. With nearly a century of leadership in the field — from roots in oil and gas to breakthroughs in batteries and new sources of power — the breadth of expertise in the Cockrell School of Engineering is unmatched in this area. The future of energy starts here.


U.S. Department of Energy funded research in the last four years ($145 million university-wide)


Energy startup companies active via Texas Innovation Center this year


Industry partners working with us on energy research and projects


Square feet of interdisciplinary space in the new Gary L. Thomas Energy Engineering Building


Energy centers and organizations at UT


Energy-focused degrees, minors and certificate programs for engineering students

Join Us in Solving the World's Energy Challenges

Cockrell is seeking partners to help identify problems, invest in ideas and implement economically viable solutions. Connect with the Cockrell School Industry & Research Relations Office to learn more about partnership opportunities.

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Leading the way

close-up of battery circuit board

Batteries and Energy Storage

With a foundation that dates back to Nobel Prize-winning battery pioneer John Goodenough’s arrival at UT Austin in the 1980s, Cockrell is addressing every aspect of battery innovation, aiming to enhance life cycle and safety, develop new materials, create storage solutions and reduce cost and charging time. From computational modeling of battery mechanics and chemistry at the atomistic level to manufacturing EV-sized batteries and everything in between, Cockrell has the know-how and capabilities to continue a tradition of pioneering research.

Battery Research Group
Texas Materials Institute
In the News: Magnetic Field Helps Thick Battery Electrodes Tackle Electric Vehicle Challenges
windmills on a grassy plain

Efficient and Responsible Use of Oil and Gas

The University of Texas at Austin’s leadership in oil and gas research and innovation dates back nearly a century. It continues to build upon that foundation to develop better, more efficient and cleaner oil and gas solutions. The Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering is the No. 1 ranked petroleum engineering department in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, complemented by top-ranked programs in environmental and the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering as well. Researchers are investigating ways to produce safe, cleaner and more reliable energy from oil and gas for years to come. And the same technologies and skillsets that made Texas a leader in oil and gas innovation will play an important role in the continued development of alternative fuel sources to advance the goal of net-zero emissions.

Center for Subsurface Energy and the Environment
Center for Energy and Environmental Resources
In the News: Coalition Will Build Energy Innovation Hub in Permian Basin
hydrogen refining machinery


Cockrell has a history of leadership in advancing the hydrogen economy, from deploying Texas’ first hydrogen-powered bus on the road, to developing new materials to produce hydrogen from sunlight and water, to constructing hydrogen research facilities that represent the end-to-end value chain for hydrogen. Investigators are researching ways to make, store, transport and use hydrogen as a safe, efficient, cost effective and zero-carbon energy source.

Enabling a Hydrogen Economy
UT's H2@Scale Department of Energy Project
Professional Development Course on Hydrogen - Why the Hype? Opportunities, Challenges and Recent Trends
In the News: Washington Shouldn't Restrict Hydrogen Energy Incentives
powerlines against a clear sky

Electric Grid

Power grids must continue to evolve to meet increased resiliency, electricity demand, reliability and security challenges, among other key drivers of change. UT Austin is at the forefront of this effort, partnering with national labs and using the campus microgrid and test microgrid at the Center for Electromechanics to prove out new solutions. UT Austin is addressing power source integration, delivery, stability and vulnerability through modeling and demonstration programs. Research groups in the Chandra Family Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are investigating future grid solutions, including power electronics and grid architecture for improved resilience.

Center for Electromechanics – Grid Solutions
Power Electronics & Magnetics Lab
Electrified Processes for Industry without Carbon (EPIXC) Institute
Semiconductor Power Electronics Center
In the News: To Maintain the Texas Grid, Commonsense is Required
a gas station fuel pump inserted into a vehicle

Solar, Geothermal and Other Renewable Power

Supported by a National Science Foundation solar power research center, Texas Engineers are developing new energy technologies and alternative resources that improve our energy system worldwide. Faculty are investigating several topics related to wind energy, including thunderstorm impacts on wind turbines and development of offshore windfarms in the Gulf of Mexico. Leveraging our roots and expertise in oil and gas drilling and completions, we are exploring new frontiers in geothermal energy and finding the best ways to harvest and utilize it.

Center for a Solar-Powered Future
Energy Technology & Policy
Geothermal Entrepreneurship Organization
Participation in DOE’s Frontier Observatory Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) Initiative
In the News: First-of-its-kind Cross-Collaborative Study Highlights Growing Momentum for Geothermal Energy in Texas, UT Austin Develops Single-System Solar Energy Storage Technology
methane emissions measuring device

Emissions Modeling, Measurement and Mitigation

The Cockrell School is home to leading experts in emissions modeling, measurement and mitigation in various, including methane emissions and abatement of unwanted combustion by-products.

Project ASTRA Network of Sensors to Monitor Emissions
Energy Emissions Modeling and Data Lab
Professional Development Course on Methane Emissions in the Natural Gas Supply Chain
In the News: New Data Lab to Tackle Oil & Gas Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting, Sensor Network Could Change How Methane Emissions Are Detected
cityscape backlit by lights against dark sky

Smart Building and Infrastructure

Building energy use accounts for a significant portion of overall energy consumption. Researchers are studying how to best integrate building and infrastructure systems to make them more energy efficient and bidirectional in the ability to demand and supply power to the grid. Next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence have the potential to serve as a backbone for improved energy usage in our built environment.

Good Systems – Smart Cities
Energy Infrastructure of the Future
In the News: Low-Temp Production Could Mean Cheaper, More Flexible Smart Windows, The Quest to Use AI to Make Buildings More Efficient
three workers in hardhats talking outside a carbon storage facility

Carbon Capture, Storage and Utilization

Cockrell is working on solutions to the technical and economic challenges facing carbon capture, storage and utilization by developing new technologies and methods, while partnering with industry to address important needs. Researchers are helping identify subsurface locations and formations that make the most sense to store carbon-dioxide from the Gulf of Mexico to the Permian basin and beyond, and also performing pioneering research such as the storage of carbon dioxide in hydrate state.

Carbon UT – Center for Subsurface Energy and the Environment
In the News: Eliminating CO2 Emissions From Manufacturing is Goal of Major Research Alliance
gloved hand operating precision research tools on solar panel prototype

Sustainable Processes and Materials

Looking at the entire energy spectrum means addressing the processes and methodology through which we are producing, storing, delivering and recycling energy producing materials, as well as rethinking the materials we are using throughout the energy mix and their lifecycles.

Center for Materials for Water and Energy Systems
Center for Dynamics and Control of Materials: an NSF MRSEC
In the News: Researchers Aim to Make Chemical Plants More Energy Efficient, New Way to Pull Lithium from Water Could Increase Supply, Efficiency
nuclear energy reactor

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear reactor designs have changed in recent years to focus on smaller, safer, modular solutions that aim to better address spent fuel disposal. Nuclear energy will continue to play a significant role in meeting the world’s increased demand for climate-friendly energy. UT Austin has a strong history in nuclear engineering and remains at the technological forefront. UT Austin’s Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab is home to a TRIGA Mark II reactor, one of the newest in the fleet of U.S. university teaching reactors. And it is home to a number of collaborative research endeavors including, the development of a molten salt reactor.

Nuclear and Radiation Engineering Program
Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab
In the News: Building a Molten Salt Research Reactor in Texas by 2025, Cockrell School Joins Multi-University Partnership to Design New Nuclear Research Reactor
close-up of computer code on a screen

Energy Integration and Decision Making

As the future of energy evolves, properly integrating renewables, clean fossil fuel sources and nuclear with the grid while leveraging leading-edge technologies such as AI and machine learning presents challenges and decision points. The Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Operations Research and Industrial Engineering group focuses on advanced methods, technologies, and techniques to help integrate energy system components and analyze the tradeoffs and technology of the future of energy.

Operations Research and Industrial Engineering
Center for Engineering and Decision Analytics
Analytics and Probabilistic Modeling
In the News: True Costs of Power Outages Remain a Mystery

Collaborations Across Campus

The Cockrell School works on energy projects with others across the Forty Acres. Our investigators collaborate across the following colleges, schools and units:

The Energy Institute
Jackson School of Geosciences
College of Natural Sciences
McCombs School of Business
Kay Bailey Hutchison Energy Center
LBJ School of Public Affairs
School of Architecture
Texas Advanced Computing Center
Environmental Science Institute

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innovation starts here