Welcome to Energy e X ploration Laboratory!

Energy-X is an interdisciplinary research lab focused on scientific and engineering challenges that lay at the interface of thermal-fluid, material, and energy sciences. Our group explores to improve energy efficiency, reliability, and economy of the process, component, or system X, with X being our target technological area which spans from the energy sector to environmental applications.

Principal Investigator: Sajjad Bigham

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering,

Michigan Tech University


Highlighted news:

  • March 2022: Energy-X and its industry partner were selected for a NASA grant to work on life support systems of the International Space Station (ISS). Under this project, the team will develop next-generation Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) systems with controlled pressure drop, tailored flow path, minimized void spaces, good heat management, high mechanical and chemical stability, and optimized structures with high mass transfer.
  • Feb. 2022: Energy-X received the Wood Next Fund Grant. This water grant was awarded to boost the R&D efforts on our American-Made Challenges: Solar Desalination Prize.
  • April 2021 - Energy-X is selected to receive the second phase of the "American-Made Challenges: DOE Solar Desalination Prize". Special thanks to the students involved and our collaborators from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Rackam, and Artic Solar Inc. The funding allows us to advance a novel sorption-based desalination technology for the ZLD treatment of high salinity brines by solar thermal energy. The contest is sponsored by the Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Thanks for the support!​ (Link)
  • Oct. 2020 - Energy-X team is selected to receive the "American-Made Challenges: DOE Solar Desalination Prize" for innovation. Working on the next stage of the prize, the team in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and an industry partner aims to develop a solar-driven zero liquid discharge (ZLD) desalination technique to treat high salinity brines in a promising energy-efficient and economic manner. (Link)
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  • Nov. 2020 - Energy-X received Michigan Tech Research Excellence Fund (REF).
  • Jan. 2020 - Energy-X is selected to receive a $2.4M funding from ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Over the next 3 years, the Energy-X team in collaboration with its industrial partners and ORNL will use advanced ceramic-based 3D printing technology to develop next-generation light, low-cost, ultra-compact, high-temperature high-pressure (HTHP) heat exchangers. These will be able to operate at temperatures above 1100°C (2012°F) and at pressures above 80 bar (1160 psi). (Link)
    • The funding is under the ARPA-E HITEMMP (High-Intensity Thermal Exchange through Materials and Manufacturing Processes) program which seeks to develop new approaches and technologies for the design and manufacture of high temperature, high pressure, and highly compact heat exchangers and components. Thanks for your support!​
  • July 2019 - Energy-X is selected to receive a $0.92M funding from the Building Technology Office (BTO) of the Department of Energy (DOE) under BENEFIT (Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies) program. Over the next 3 years, the Energy-X team in collaboration with Samsung Electronics America and ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) will develop next-generation high-efficiency natural-gas driven equipment. Thanks for your support!​​ (Link)
  • May 2018 - Energy-X is selected to receive $150K funding from Ford Motor Company to work on disruptive thermal management systems needed for the realization of future electric vehicles. Thanks for your support!


Michigan Tech University, established in 1885 as the Michigan Mining School to support the copper and iron mining industry in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is one of the U.S. premier technological universities.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (MEEM) supports approximately 1500 undergraduate students and 350 graduate students and has a reputation for developing “hands-on” student talent.

Within the department, Energy-X is an experimental test laboratory focused on fundamentals of phase-change heat transfer and advanced HVAC&R/appliance technologies.




Photo courtesy to MTU Instagram page