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 17 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.