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Venkat Viswanathan

Carnegie Mellon University
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 2013

Venkat Viswanathan received his B.Tech and M.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India. He then pursued and obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. After a one-year postdoctoral appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined the Department of Mechanic Engineering of Carnegie Mellon University in 2014. He also holds courtesy appointments in the departments of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering. His awards include a National Science Foundation CAREER award, an American Chemical Society PRF Young Investigator award, the Electrochemical Society Daniel Cubicciotti Award, and the Electrochemical Society Herbert H. Uhligh Summer Fellowship.


Venkat Viswanathan's research focus is on identifying the scientific principles governing material design, inorganic, organic and biomaterials, for novel energy conversion and storage routes. The material design is carried out through a suite of computational methods being developed in the group validated by experiments.  Some key research thrusts include identifying principles of electrolytes design (organic material) that can tune electrode catalysis, identification of new anode, cathode (inorganic materials) and electrolyte materials for next generation batteries, new electrocatalysts (inorganic) and biomaterials for energy storage and separation applications. In addition to material design, our group is involved in several cross-cutting areas such as battery controls, electric vehicle security and GPU accelerated computing.
Research interests:
Computational material design
Density functional theory simulations
Phase-field modeling
Next generation batteries, fuel cells
Electrocatalysis for energy conversion and storage
Data-driven material discovery
Bio-inspired and bio-mimetic materials
Controls for energy systems
GPU accelerated computing


Title Position Email
Zeeshan Ahmad Graduate Student
Mohammad Babar Graduate Student
Venkatesh Krishnamurthy Postdoctoral Fellow
Dilip Krishnamurthy Graduate Student
Vikram Pande Graduate Student
Victor Venturi Graduate Student
Olga Vinogradova Graduate Student
Most Cited Publications

"The Twin Problems of Interfacial Carbonate Formation in Non-aqueous Li-O 2 Batteries." Bryan D McCloskey, Angela Speidel, Rouven Scheffler, Dolores C Miller, Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan, Jens Strabo Hummelshøj, Jens K Norskov, Alan C Luntz. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.
"Solvating additives drive solution-mediated electrochemistry and enhance toroid growth in non-aqueous Li–O2 batteries." Nagaphani B Aetukuri, Bryan D McCloskey, Jeannette M García, Leslie E Krupp, Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan, Alan C Luntz. Nature Chemistry.
"Electrical conductivity in Li2O2 and its role in determining capacity limitations in non-aqueous Li-O2 batteries." V Viswanathan, KS Thygesen, JS Hummelshoj, JK Norskov, G Girishkumar, BD McCloskey, AC Luntz. Journal of Chemical Physics.
"Universality in Oxygen Reduction Electrocatalysis on Metal Surfaces." Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan, Heine Anton Hansen, Jan Rossmeisl, Jens K Nørskov. ACS Catalysis.
"Practical challenges hindering the development of solid state Li ion batteries." Kian Kerman, Alan Luntz, Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan, Yet-Ming Chiang, Zhebo Chen. Journal of The Electrochemical Society.

Recent Publications

"Benchmarking conductivity predictions of the Advanced Electrolyte Model (AEM) for aqueous systems." Adarsh Dave, Kevin L Gering, Jared M Mitchell, Jay Whitacre, Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan. Journal of The Electrochemical Society.
"The Future of Vehicle Electrification in India May Ride on Two Wheels." Shashank Sripad, Tarun Mehta, Anil Srivastava, Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan. ACS Energy Letters.
"An Autonomous Electrochemical Test stand for Machine Learning Informed Electrolyte Optimization." Jay F Whitacre, Jared Mitchell, Adarsh Dave, Sven Burke, Venkatasburamanian Viswanathan. J. Electrochem. Soc..
"Uncertainty Quantification of DFT-predicted Finite Temperature Thermodynamic Properties within the Debye Model." Pinwen Guan, Gregory Houchins, Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan. arXiv preprint arXiv:1910.07891.
"Computational Screening of Current Collectors for Enabling Anode-Free Lithium Metal Batteries." Vikram Pande, Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan. ACS Energy Letters.