Washburn Shops 310
Affiliated Department or Office
PhD Materials Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1997

Adam C. Powell, IV is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical & Materials Engineering department who joined the WPI faculty in August 2018. His field is materials processing, and research focuses on greenhouse gas emissions reduction, elimination, and drawdown. Current projects aim to reduce vehicle body weight, lower solar cell manufacturing energy use and cost with improved safety, reduce or eliminate aviation greenhouse gas impact, power ships and trains with zero emissions, and improve grid stability as we drive toward 100% renewables. The primary tool for achieving these goals is mathematical modeling of metal processes, particularly electrochemical processes, validated by key experiments.

Powell's research has resulted in 18 patents and 72 publications across materials classes: metal extraction/refining and product development, thin films, ceramic coatings, polymer membranes, batteries, and electromagnetic propulsion. He is the author of nine open source computational tools in materials processing, microstructure and thermodynamics modeling.

Powell is fluent in Japanese, and as a University of Tokyo Foreign Collaborative Researcher, gives technical talks in Japanese to industry, government and academic audiences.

Professional Highlights & Honors
Green Tech Contest Silver Medal Team, 2014
TECO Technology Foundation
Mann Redmayne Medal, 2008
Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM³)
Education Resource Award, 2007
Technology Transfer Award, 1999
Federal Laboratories Consortium
Wulff Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1995
Boston Business Journal
WPI researchers make progress on net-zero aviation fuel

The Boston Business Journal spoke with Jagan Jayachandran, Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering, and Adam Powell, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering about their research to develop a net-zero aviation fuel made with magnesium.

Boston 25
WPI research on car corrosion appears on Boston 25

WPI mechanical engineering professor Adam Powell appeared in a 3-minute segment on Boston 25 News discussing approaches to reducing corrosion in cars. Powell, who was awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Department of Energy, noted that WPI “…will be creating advanced lightweight components that can last as long as the rest of conventional cars.” (References to WPI start at 1:56.)