Popular Mechanics spoke with Professor Yan Wang about his groundbreaking research to develop a method to recycle lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Wang talked about the impetus for his research, the unique recycling process, the future of battery recycling, and how the technology is now being used commercially by Ascend Elements, the company Wang co-founded, along with his former PhD student Eric Gratz.
Materials Science & Engineering (MTE) is focused on the ways in which materials are made, used, and recycled; on developing and processing new materials and products; and on the innovative use of traditional materials.
WPI’s Materials Science & Engineering interdisciplinary graduate degree programs engage students in cutting-edge research with world-renowned faculty whose work is as broad and varied as the needs of such diverse industries as medicine, energy, transportation, and manufacturing.
Students in the MTE program develop a fundamental understanding of materials at the nano, micro, and macro scales within focus areas that include structure, processing, properties, performance, kinetics, and thermodynamics. Students learn about the synthesizing of new materials and development of improved processes for making them. The focus of much of the research is on metal processing.
Given that materials science and engineering combines chemistry, physics, biology, and math with mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering principles, graduates find themselves in great demand.
The Boston Globe dove into the unique lithium-ion battery recycling process developed by Prof. Yan Wang. They also covered the company he founded with former PhD student Eric Gratz, Ascend Elements, and its plans for expansion.
Lighter Metals, Greener Vehicles
Work by Professor Diana Lados could help keep aircraft in service longer, more safely, and with better on-time performance. Her U.S. Army–supported research has implications for military and commercial aircraft.
Metals Processing Institute (MPI)
The award-winning alliance of WPI and the Metals Processing Institute (MPI) gives students and faculty access to research and projects in metal casting, heat treating, and resource recovery and recycling.
Working together at MPI, industry leaders and university researchers solve business challenges and improve manufacturing processes that save energy, reduce cycle time, increase productivity, and eliminate environmental waste
From WPI's alumni magazine
Modern Manufacturing Finds a Home
In the high-tech labs of the Advanced Manufacturing Center, WPI researchers are transforming how products are produced, repaired, and recycled.