top of page
About the Conn Center

The University of Louisville is answering Kentucky's call to lead research efforts in renewable energy research issues. UofL established the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering in 2009 in honor of major donors Hank and Rebecca Conn. Since 2009, Conn Center’s research has advanced basic scientific knowledge, informed applied engineering know-how, and supported Kentucky’s diversifying advanced manufacturing economy. The center provides analytical capabilities to materials and chemicals sector industries, research educational opportunities to PhD, masters, and bachelors students as well as outreach to middle and high school groups.


The center advances the goal of renewable energy and promotes technologies, practices, and programs that increase efficiency for energy utilization. To accomplish these objectives, the Conn Center conducts and facilitates R&D on potentially commercializable renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The center promotes partnerships among colleges and universities, private industries, and non-profit organizations to actively pursue federally and privately funded research and development resources that are dedicated to renewable energy solutions in 7 themes.

Solar Manufacturing

Solar Fuels

Biofuels & Biomass Conversions
Energy Storage

Advanced Energy Materials

Materials Characterization
Energy Efficiency & Conservation


Conn Center employs top-notch scientists and engineers as theme leaders for directing these research thrusts and to enable collaborations with faculty researchers and industry partners worldwide. The Conn Center has developed unique, state-of the art, translational research facilities in the following areas: scalable manufacturing R&D of advanced nanoscale materials, roll-to-roll manufacturing R&D for solar technologies, and solid-state lithium ion battery fabrication.


The Center features facilities for pre-pilot scale processing tools for converting various waste and biomass streams to fuels/chemicals. In addition, the Conn Center maintains test facilities for solar photovoltaics, solar fuels, lithium ion batteries, and fuel cells, a materials characterization facility, and an ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy facility.


The Center's main objective is to foster development of transformational science and accelerate the translation of technology concepts from the lab to pre-commercial scale via large-scale device prototyping. Through innovative R&D at an accelerated pace and development of Kentucky's workforce and renewable resources, the Center's ongoing goal is to seek outcomes that enhance global energy security, maintain US technological leadership, and improve high-tech manufacturing activity in Kentucky.

bottom of page