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Spring 2015

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


High Power on the Go

Engineer harnessing high-power source to fuel everything from cellphones to military ships 


Lithium-ion batteries pack a lot of power and energy into a relatively small size—and that’s part of the problem. Assistant Professors David Wetz (electrical engineering) and Ankur Jain (mechanical and aerospace engineering) are working to ensure that the batteries used to deliver power to demanding devices are modeled correctly and operated safely.

With funding from the Office of Naval Research, the researchers are studying the operational behavior and thermal properties of lithium-ion batteries in extremely high-power and high-energy applications.

“Lithium-ion batteries heat up considerably, especially when used at the high current rates that the Navy plans to use them at in high continuous and pulsed power applications,” Dr. Wetz explains. “That heat can cause the battery to age more quickly if not properly managed. We need to understand how to predict the batteries’ temperature rise and how to safely cool them to maintain both the life and safety of the battery.”

While their research is focused on how these batteries might be useful for the Navy, the results of their study have far-reaching implications for any sector that uses lithium-ion batteries as a high-power source.

“The potential of batteries has only begun to be explored for both civilian and defense applications,” Wetz says. “It is clear that they will become more widely integrated into society in the years to come.”

More articles from this issue

UT Arlington - Office of Research