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top 20 most innovative university in the nation - U.S. News & World Report 2024

A new energy future is essential for sustaining life as we know it.

We seek to extend the nearly 250 ongoing energy-related research projects currently funded by government and private industry; continue operating our campuses and facilities with resilience and sustainability; and advance energy research by integrating knowledge from disciplines including environmental science, public policy, business, optics and photonics, engineering, computer science, modeling and simulation, communications and education.

As the University for the Future, we aspire to be the university with a high return on investment and engagement — realized in the highest student and faculty outcomes; prudent stewardship of invested dollars; acceleration of student progression to degree completion; and resilient and sustainable operations.

We are elevating our partnership with the University of Central Florida — a proven research powerhouse in the energy sector. Through this partnership, we will focus on innovation, research and education to advance the energy transition.”

— Mitsubishi Power Americas President and CEO Bill Newsom

Research Powered by Innovative Minds

UCF researchers are driving innovation and creating a more sustainable world through their groundbreaking work. From developing new renewable energy technologies to optimizing energy efficiency in existing systems, our team is committed to finding solutions to today’s energy challenges of today and those of the future.

Portrait of Issa Batarseh

Issa Batarseh, Ph.D.

Pegasus Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Batarseh’s power electronics research improves solar energy conversion by developing advanced systems that enhance cost, power density, efficiency, and performance. His expertise includes high frequency dc-ac inverters, resonant converter topologies, low-voltage dc-dc converters, and power factor correction techniques. With 36 patents and 300 articles, his published work has garnered approximately 7,000 citations.

Portrait of Kelly Stevens

Kelly Stevens, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor at the School of Public Administration

Stevens conducts interdisciplinary research on energy and environmental policy, environmental management, as well as science and technology policy. Her work focuses on the U.S. electricity sector, climate change policies, air pollution, and community resilience. She started working on climate change policy and air pollution regulation as a meteorologist for the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection in the Division of Air Resource Management.

Portrait of Yang Yang

Yang Yang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Nanoscience Technology Center

Yang Yang’s research interests include advanced materials and their applications in renewable energy devices, environmental science, and smart electronics. His research focuses on designing and synthesizing highly ordered porous films with precisely controlled chemical composition and morphology, investigating new electrochemical, electronic, and optical properties, and exploring novel cutting-edge technologies arising in these advanced materials.



Portrait of Issa Batarseh

Issa Batarseh Ph.D.

Pegasus Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Batarseh’s power electronics research improves solar energy conversion by developing advanced systems that enhance cost, power density, efficiency, and performance. His expertise includes high frequency dc-ac inverters, resonant converter topologies, low-voltage dc-dc converters, and power factor correction techniques. With 36 patents and 300 articles, his published work has garnered approximately 7,000 citations.

Kelly Stevens

Kelly Stevens Ph.D.

Assistant Professor at the School of Public Administration

Stevens conducts interdisciplinary research on energy and environmental policy, environmental management, as well as science and technology policy. Her work focuses on the U.S. electricity sector, climate change policies, air pollution, and community resilience. She started working on climate change policy and air pollution regulation as a meteorologist for the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection in the Division of Air Resource Management.

Portrait of Dr. Yang Yang

Yang Yang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Nanoscience Technology Center

Yang Yang’s research interests include advanced materials and their applications in renewable energy devices, environmental science, and smart electronics. His research focuses on designing and synthesizing highly ordered porous films with precisely controlled chemical composition and morphology, investigating new electrochemical, electronic, and optical properties, and exploring novel cutting-edge technologies arising in these advanced materials.


Developing Solutions for Energy Sustainability

Our society is facing a revolution as new technology is being developed to advance sustainable, resilient and efficient energy systems. To reduce stress on our current infrastructure, energy and sustainability innovations are necessary in providing communities with a better quality of life. UCF faculty and students are prepared to meet this growing demand by researching and implementing advanced technology to conserve and store energy.

Degree programs related to electrical and computer engineering give students first-hand experience in creating safe and sustainable solutions. Our partnerships with major institutions allows out faculty and students to immerse themselves in sustainability leadership and research opportunities that create innovative solutions. Graduates enter into the workforce helping design, construct and enhance transportation — ensuring the project’s effectiveness and reliability for years to come.

$6.5 M

in funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2021.
U.S. National Science Foundation

Top 15%

in the nation for engineering federal research funding.
U.S. National Science Foundation

$247B

Active energy projects funded by government and private industry.

300++

Articles in top journals have been published by the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

400+

alumni employed by GE Digital and Florida Power & Light.

1,400+

Electrical and computer engineering students at UCF.

#7

Fastest-Growing University for Research Expenditures
UCF is ranked No. 7 among fastest-growing research spending institutions in the nation by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

top 20 most innovative university in the nation - U.S. News & World Report 2024

Top 20 Most Innovative University in the Nation
U.S. News & World Report ranks UCF as one of the most innovative in its annual list of best colleges.

#25

Energy Science and Engineering School
ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2022 ranked UCF No. 25 in the U.S. for energy science and engineering.

Top 25

University for Producing Patents
University of Central Florida is ranked in the top 25 among public universities in the U.S. for producing patents by the National Academy of Inventors.

Top 40

Computer Engineering Program
University of Central Florida computer engineering programs ranked No. 34 among public universities nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

Top 40

Electrical/ Electronic/ Communications Engineering Program
University of Central Florida electrical/ electronic/ communications engineering programs ranked No. 35 among public universities nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

Institutes, Associations and Affiliations

  • Central Florida Expressway Authority
  • Duke Energy
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Florida Department of Transportation
  • Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise
  • Kennedy Space Center
  • MetroPlan Orlando
  • Mitsubishi Power
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • Siemens

Companies Employing UCF Graduates

  • AECOM
  • Atkins
  • Boeing
  • CH2M Hill
  • Disney
  • Florida Department of Transportation
  • Florida Power & Light
  • General Electric
  • HNTB
  • Hubbard
  • Kimley-Horn
  • Leidos
  • Orlando Utilities Commission
  • Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • Skanska
  • Turner
  • Wharton-Smith
Power lines

Energy and Sustainability Research Through UCF’s RISES Program

At UCF, our faculty and researchers are dedicated to advancing the frontiers of energy and sustainability by conducting groundbreaking research and creating innovative solutions. UCF’s commitment to supporting projects that have a global impact in these fields is demonstrated through the Resilient, Intelligent and Sustainable Energy Systems (RISES) program.

The RISES program is a multidisciplinary research initiative focused on developing technologies, methodologies, and policies to address the challenges and opportunities in energy and sustainability. By bringing together experts from various fields, RISES enables collaboration and fosters a culture of innovation, positioning UCF as a leader in energy and sustainability research.

Learn more about UCF’s RISES Program

Professor Jaytana Kapat

Can Ammonia Unlock Clean Air Travel?

According to Jayanta Kapat and several of his UCF colleagues in engineering and the Florida Space Institute, the answer is yes. By using liquid ammonia as the fuel for aircraft which, upon combustion, will produce harmless emissions that are green while still providing enough power to keep the aircraft aloft. At high altitudes ammonia is naturally liquid thereby limiting the need for special handling. Airports and airplanes are expected to store the ammonia in fuel tanks.

What does “cracking” ammonia mean?

Yang Yang

Revolutionary 3-Minute Charging Battery for EVs

UCF researcher, Yang Yang, has created a revolutionary new aqueous battery for electric vehicles (EV) that can charge in just three minutes. This technology has the potential to significantly improve the charging experience for EV owners, making it faster and more convenient to charge their vehicles. The fast-charging capabilities of the aqueous battery could be a game-changer for the EV industry, helping to increase the adoption of electric vehicles and support the transition to a more sustainable transportation system.

Discover the future of EV charging

Orlando Energy and Sustainability Facilities

Robust facilities at UCF allow the best minds to come together and collaborate — making powerful discoveries that transform the future of sustainable energy. With state-of-the-art research tools and the latest technologies, our facilities provide a place where we uncover new insights and shift paradigms.

UCF REACT Faculty Researcher

Renewable Energy and Chemical Transformation (REACT) Research Cluster

UCF’s Renewable Energy and Chemical Transformation Cluster, or REACT, is developing new, alternative power sources for our tech and transportation that are safe for people and the environment.

solar panels

Smart Infrastructure Data Analytics Laboratory

The Smart Infrastructure Data Analytics Lab (SIDAL) at the University of Central Florida, led by Qun Zhou, Ph.D., is a research laboratory focused on solving energy challenges in the grid and buildings. They utilize advanced data analytics and optimization schemes to improve energy efficiency and engage consumers, with a focus on grid edge components like HVAC, solar panels, and batteries, working towards a greener, stronger, and smarter energy future.

Microgrid technology

Microgrid Control Lab

A state-of-the-art facility that provides hands-on learning and research opportunities for students interested in modern grid control operations. Equipped with the latest software and control center equipment, students can simulate and test real-life scenarios, such as how to optimize and secure the grid of the future.

Florida Solar Energy Center

FSEC® is the state’s premier energy research center. Since it was established by the Florida Legislature in 1975 to advance solar energy research, development and education, its focus has grown in scope. In addition to solar, its work now includes research, education and training in high-performance buildings, sustainable transportation, energy storage and energy systems integration. As a result of FSEC’s extensive research capabilities, its programs are nationally and internationally recognized.

Energy and Sustainability Degrees

As the energy and sustainability industry continues to evolve and change over time, UCF energy and sustainability programs keep students current with the latest techniques and curriculum — ensuring they are prepared from day one.

Bachelor’s Degrees

Best bachelor’s degrees for a career in sustainability technologies.

Graduate Degrees

Top master’s degrees for advancement in engineering and photonics industries.

Certificates

Leading certificate programs in engineering and energy solutions.

Energy and Sustainability News


Science & Technology
UCF Expertise Tapped to Help Combat Land, Ecological Losses in Mississippi River Delta
Goals for the MissDelta project include collecting data on the coastal water levels and ocean waves inside of the Birdsfoot region of the Mississippi River…
Science & Technology
UCF Research Sets New Funding Record for Fiscal Year 2023
More than $217 million in research awards were received in fiscal year 2023, funding transformative projects ranging from moon missions to community schools.
Science & Technology
New UCF Tech Uses AI, VR to Monitor Safety of Bridges, Buildings
Civil infrastructure systems in developed countries are aging and require monitoring of their structural health.

Areas of Focus

Innovation. Partnership. Impact. Our integrated approach to teaching, learning and research unleashes the potential of our faculty and students — empowering them to make a difference in their communities and around the world.

Space Technologies & Systems
Entertainment & Immersive Experiences
Health & Human Performance
Energy & Sustainability
Transformative Technologies & National Security