HomeResearchPREM Seed: Collaborative Research and Education in Energy Materials (CREEM)

PREM Seed: Collaborative Research and Education in Energy Materials (CREEM)

Collaborative Research and Education in Energy Materials (CREEM), is a NSF funded Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) Seed Grant (DMR-2122067) funding collaboration between Cornell and North Carolina A&T researchers. This PREM, led by Dr. Dhananjay Kumar, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at NC A&T, will develop low-dimensional titanium oxynitride-based materials capable of supporting energy conversion reactions. 

Using materials of incredibly small dimensions (i.e., nanometer width, height, or length), researchers will develop ways to split water into oxygen and hydrogen for use in fuel cells and to use solar light in the full spectrum range to convert the sun’s energy into usable electrical energy. 

 The CREEM team will also focus on broadening the participation of underrepresented African American students in graduate education leading to terminal degrees by engaging K-16 students in innovative materials research, education, and outreach programs. 


We are excited to announce that a DOE EFRC grant has been awarded to NC A&T, the only award to a HBCU this year. PREM PI Dhananjay Kumar (NCAT) and PREM partner PI Jin Suntivich (Cornell) are investigators on the new DOE award which will establish clean energy initiatives.

Summer 2022 (coming)

Spring 2022

PREM work was presented joint publication work (cited below) at the March APS and Spring MRS meetings:

J. Som, J. Choi, H. Zhang, N. Reddy Mucha, S. Fialkova, K. Mensah-Darkwa, J. Suntivich, R. K. Gupta, and D. Kumar, “Effect of substrate-induced lattice strain on the electrochemical properties of pulsed laser deposited nickel oxide thin film,” Materials Science and Engineering: B 280, 115711 (2022). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mseb.2022.115711


Winter 2021
PREM virtual meeting

NC A&T participants working with CCMR facility staff

(L to R) N.C. A&T faculty (Dr. Dhananjay Kumar) and students (Mr. Jacob Som and Ms. Manosi Roy) performing XPS analysis with Dr. Darrah Dare, CCMR Facility staff member. (October 2021)


The faculty participating in CREEM are: 

Bishnu Bastakoti (NC A&T, Asst. Prof., Chemistry) 

Caroline Booth (NC A&T, Assoc. Counseling Professor) 

Derome Dunn (NC A&T, Assoc. Prof., Mechanical Eng.) 

Debdeep Jena (Cornell, Prof. Elec. & Computer Eng. ) 

Abebe Kebede (NC A&T, Assoc. Prof., Physics) 

John Kizito (NC A&T, Assoc. Prof., Mechanical Eng.) 

Dhananjay Kumar (NC A&T, Prof., Mechanical Eng.) 

Xiaochuan Lu, (NC A&T, Assoc. Prof., Applied Eng. Tech.) 

David Muller (Cornell, Prof. Applied & Eng. Phys.) 

Kristen Rhinehardt (NC A&T, Asst. Prof., Computational Data Sci. & Eng.) 

David Schall (NC A&T, Asst. Prof., Mechanical Eng. 

Jin Suntivich (Cornell, Assoc. Prof., Materials Sci. & Eng.)  

Jenora Waterman (NC A&T, Assoc. Prof., Biology) 

Frank Wise (Cornell, Prof. Applied & Eng. Phys.) 

Huili Grace Xing (Cornell, Prof. Elec. & Computer Eng. ) 

News links: 

NSF announcement of 10 PREM Seed grants 

NC A&T PREM Seed article 

Cornell Chronicle PREM Seed article 


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