At the University of Louisville, the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research is researching and developing new and potentially commercializable technologies that could lead to renewable energy sources and a reduced carbon footprint. The center's administrative offices are, appropriately, located in the Phoenix House, a living lab for renewable energy research that was originally constructed as an entry into a solar decathlon. 

The center promotes partnerships, including those with private industries and non-profit organizations. Areas of focus include: 

  • Advanced energy materials manufacturing;
  • Solar energy conversion;
  • Renewable energy storage;
  • Biofuels/biomass conversions;
  • Energy efficiency and conservation;
  • And materials characterization.


Core facilities for the Conn Center include the Advanced Materials Characterization Service Center, which focuses on research and education in advanced materials science and engineering.

The center's capabilities include equipment for:

  • Characterizing both inorganic and soft materials using a variety of microscopy, spectroscopy and diffraction tools;
  • Ultrafast, transient spectroscopy for analyzing electron transfer processes;
  • And testing and fabricating devices for energy storage and conversion, such as solar energy panels or biomass to biofuels.


As part of its mission, the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at the University of Louisville conducts research within several key areas. Research in each of these areas is led by a dedicated senior research scientist, who works with other researchers, faculty and industry to tackle problems and innovate. 

These key research areas are:

  • Solar manufacturing research and development;
  • Solar fuels;
  • Biofuels;
  • Energy storage;
  • Advanced energy materials;
  • Materials characterization;
  • And energy efficiency conservation.