Recent News

Summer 2019


Jose Adrian Chavez Velasco received first place for his poster in Energy and Process Intensification category at the 28th Annual Symposium organized by Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Organization. Congratulations, Adrian!


Prerena Prahlad, undergraduate student working with Peter Oladipupo, received ‘Top Research Poster’ award at the 2019 SURF Research Symposium. Congratulations, Prerena!


Solar Energy Research Group members Xianyi Hu and Scott McClary successfully defend their theses. Congratulations, Xianyi and Scott!


Solar Energy Research Group members Ryan Ellis and Kyle Weidman’s abstracts for the 2019 AIChE conference were accepted for an awards session oral presentation and Oral presentation respectively


Solar Energy Research Group member Scott McClary and David Rokke were nominated for the best student presentation award and best poster award respectively at the 46th IEEE PVSC


Yiru Li presented an oral talk and a poster at the 12th Natural Gas Conversion Symposium, San Antonio, Texas


Spring 2019


Solar Energy Research Group member Kyle Weideman receives Purdue University’s Teaching Academy Graduate Teaching Award for outstanding work as a teaching assistant for CHE378


Solar Energy Research Group members Scott McClary, Ryan Ellis, and Jospeh Andler’s submissions to the 2019 PVSC in Chicago are accepted for oral presentation, poster presentation, and poster presentation respectively


Prof. Rakesh Agrawal is recognized at a National Medal and Patent Wall unveil in Purdue’s Armstrong Hall


Solar Energy Research Group member Essam AlRuqobah and alumini Steven McLeod publish a paper titled, “Liquid assisted grain growth in solution processed Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2,” in Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells


Solar Energy Research Group members Scott McClary and Brian Graeser publish a paper titled, “A Cu3PS4 nanparticle hold selctive layer for efficient inverted perovskite solar cells” in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A


Solar Energy Research Group member Swapnil Deshmukh and alumini Caleb Miskin publish paper titled, ‘Lead Chalcogenide Nanoparticles and Their Size-Controlled Self-Assemblies for Thermoelectric and Photovoltaic Applications’ in ACS Applied Nanomaterials


Radhakrishna Tumbalam Gooty was awarded the Bilsland Dissertation Fellowship for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.


Fall 2018


Solar Energy Research Group members Ryan Ellis and Xianyi Hu give oral presentations at the 2018 Fall MRS conference in Boston and are featured in the Davidson School of Engineering Newsletter


Congratulations to Scott McClary on securing 3rd position for his talk in ‘Graduate Student Award Finalists’ (Electronic and photonic materials) session at AIChE Annual Meeting 2018


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Welcome to the Rakesh Agrawal Research Group Webpage


Dr. Rakesh Agrawal awarded NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) funding for graduate education in STEM fields

The NSF-wide NRT program addresses key issues in the scientific community, including educating and expanding the science and engineering workforce, broadening participation in STEM education to include traditionally underserved populations, and creating new resources at institutions that train STEM graduate students:

Sustainable Food, Energy, and Water Systems (SFEWS): Rakesh Agrawal, Purdue University, and Aavudai Anandhi Swamy, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.



The Rakesh Agrawal Research Group consists of three sub-groups each focusing on different fields of research: Solar Energy (Photovoltaics), Energy Systems Engineering, and Separations Optimization.

The Solar Energy Group focuses on the fabrication of high efficiency solution processed solar cells. Using colloidal nanoparticle inks or molecular precursors, solar cells can be fabricated from solution based methods such as spin-coating, doctor blading, inkjet printing, or spray coating. The solution based method forgoes the typical high vacuum needed for semiconductor processing, potentially leading to significantly reduced manufacturing costs.

The Energy Systems Group focuses on development and optimization of processes to meet crucial societal needs, such as transportation fuel, chemicals, and electricity, primarily from renewable energy sources to enable a sustainable economy. This group also utilizes modeling to find the role of biofuels vis-a-vis other solar energy derived alternatives to propel an entire transport sector in a solar economy. Additionally work is being done on the efficient conversion of biomass to liquid fuel and maximizing liquid fuel from a given quantity of biomass.

The Separations Group focuses on developing efficient separation processes. Currently methods to synthesize and identify energy efficient distillation configurations for multi-component separation are being developed. Additional effort is being devoted to develop optimal methods for membrane separation processes.