Mahendra Sunkara

Professor

Dr. Mahendra K. Sunkara is currently a Professor of Chemical Engineering, University Scholar and Director for the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research (Conn Center) at University of Louisville. Dr. Sunkara received his B. Tech. degree in Chemical Engineering from Andhra University (India) in 1986 and M.S., Ph. D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University in 1988 and Case Western Reserve University in 1993, respectively. He worked at Faraday Technology, Inc. in Dayton, OH from 1993-1996 as a Project Engineer for various electrochemical technologies toward environmental remediation and corrosion sensing and mitigation. He has published over 100 articles in refereed journals and proceedings, four book chapters and was awarded ten U.S. patents along with several additional U.S. patent applications pending. He co-authored a book entitled "Inorganic Nanowires: Applications, Properties and Characterization" published by CRC Press. Several national and international news articles appeared on his research work in the area of nanoscale materials and their use in energy conversion and storage applications. In the last ten years, Dr. Sunkara delivered over fifty invited and keynote lectures in Germany, US, Greece, Taiwan, Slovenia and India. Four of his research articles appeared on the covers of prestigious journals, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, Chemical Communications and Carbon. He was awarded the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty in Engineering award in 1999 and was the first recipient of the prestigious CAREER grant in Speed School from the National Science Foundation in 1999. In 2002, the Louisville Magazine placed him in the list of top 25 young guns in the city of Louisville. In 2009, he received the UofL President's distinguished faculty award for research and United Phosphorus CDS Award from the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers in December 2009.

Education

  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 1993
  • M.S. in Chemical Engineering, Clarkson University, 1988
  • B.Tech. in Chemical Engineering, Andhra University, 1986

Publications

Gold-Palladium nanoparticles supported by mesoporous beta-MnO2 air electrode for rechargeable Li-Air battery- 2012

The electrochemical performance and electrode reaction using Au-Pd nanoparticle (NP) supported mesoporous -MnO2 as a cathode catalyst for rechargeable Lithium-Air (Li-Air) battery is reported here for the first time. In this study, Au-Pd NP-supported mesoporous -MnO2 was successfully synthesized by hydrothermal process using a silica KIT-6 template. It has an initial discharge capacity of ca. 775 mAh g-1 with high reversible capacity at a current density of 0.13 mA cm-2. The Au-Pd NP-supported mesoporous -MnO2 cathode catalyst, which enhances the kinetic of oxygen reduction and evolution reactions (ORR/OERs), thereby improves energy and coulombic efficiency of the Li-Air cell. Raman spectroscopy and ex-situ XRD results of the Au-Pd NP-supported mesoporous -MnO2 air electrode suggest that the observed capacity comes from oxidation of Li+ to form Li2O2 during discharge to 2.0 V. 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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