Energy Science and Technology

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The main goals of the Designated Emphasis in Energy Science and Technology (DEEST) are to enrich each student's technical education and to enhance and facilitate interactions between faculty and students in different programs by creating a flexible and integrated interdisciplinary research and teaching environments.

The graduate group has 11 affiliated PhD programs: Chemical Engineering; Chemistry; Nuclear Engineering; the Energy Resources Group; Materials Science and Engineering; Physics; Plant and Microbial Biology; Mechanical Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS); the ME-Fluid Mechanics and Ocean Engineering Group; and Applied Science and Technology.

Students are required to complete academic work in the DEEST in addition to or as part of the full requirements of the affiliated programs. Where appropriate, affiliated PhD programs may choose to recognize the DEEST as fulfilling the requirements of an outside field in their program.

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To be admitted to the DE in Energy Science and Technology, an applicant must already be accepted into one of the affiliated PhD programs. Candidates must then submit a petition for admission to the DEEST Graduate Group Admissions Committee prior to taking the PhD qualifying examination in the affiliated program. A sponsoring faculty member in the student's affiliated program who is member of the DEEST Graduate Group must endorse the petition. As different affiliated programs have different examination requirements, the timeline for the application may vary. 

To be considered for admission, applicants must submit:

  1. The DEEST petition form and the Graduate Division "Change of Major or Degree Goal" petition to the chair of the DEEST for approval. The "Change of Major or Degree Goal" must also be signed by the vice-chair of the graduate studies of the applicant.
  2. The "Change of Major or Degree Goal" petition to the Degrees Unit, 318 Sproul Hall, to indicate admission to the DEEST. Upon receipt of the appropriately signed petition, the addition of the DEEST will be entered into the Graduate Division and Registrar's databases.

It is important to submit the “Graduate Petition for Change of Major Degree Goal" since the student must be admitted to the DEEST before the qualifying examination. In the early stages of the DE, admission after the qualifying examination might be considered by the DE admission committee in exceptional cases, where it can be certified that a member of the DEEST Graduate Group was on the student’s qualifying exam committee, and that at least one of the student’s qualifying topics had sufficient content in the field of energy science or energy technology and engineering to meet the requirements of the DE. Such an exception must be recommended to the Graduate Division for its approval.

The Admissions Committee of the Graduate Group for the DEEST decides on admission to the DEEST.

For further information regarding admission to graduate programs at UC Berkeley, please see the Graduate Division's Admissions website.

Designated Emphasis Requriements

For students who can enroll in the DE curriculum to satisfy an outside field requirement in their PhD program of study, the DE should have little impact on normative time, as it might require only one additional class, plus one seminar per semester. Only for students who decide to join the DEEST after finishing their regular PhD coursework this might require additional time, but this problem should diminish in the future, and then be of relevance only for a small number of students.


The curriculum of the DE will consist of graded upper division and graduate courses with the following distribution: 

One course required in Group A: Energy Policy and Management
Two required technical courses selected from two course groups, Group B: Energy Sciences, and Group C: Energy Technology.

The selection of courses will be maintained and regularly updated by the DE Graduate Group’s Curriculum Committee to follow developments in the field, and the offering of new relevant courses.

An initial list is given below. In addition, students are required to attend a  seminar series and discussion forum, as arranged by the curriculum committee, which is to serve as a focal point for communication and interaction between the participants. It is expected that students who elect the DEEST will do so in fields that broaden their subjects of study beyond that of their major. It is also expected that the major programs contain sufficient background to support the choice of courses for the DEEST. While the course selections do not have to focus on one technology or one science aspect, the choices in Groups B and C have been presented so as to allow a selection of coherent sets. Variations and exemptions may be allowed upon petition to the DEEST Graduate Group’s Advising Committee.

Required Group A: Energy Management and Policy
CIV ENG 107Climate Change Mitigation3
ENE,RES C100Energy and Society4
ENE,RES C200Energy and Society4
ENE,RES 280Energy Economics3
Politics of Energy and Environmental Policy
MBA 212Energy and Environmental Markets3
Group B: Energy Sciences
Chemistry: graduate course sequence of three 1 unit course modules may serve as satisfying one 3 unit course in Group B.
CHEM 143Nuclear Chemistry2
CHM ENG 176Principles of Electrochemical Processes3
CHM ENG 244Kinetics and Reaction Engineering3
CHM ENG 245Catalysis3
MEC ENG 259Microscale Thermophysics and Heat Transfer3
MEC ENG 253Graduate Applied Optics and Radiation3
NUC ENG 180Introduction to Controlled Fusion3
NUC ENG 280Fusion Reactor Engineering3
NUC ENG 281Fully Ionized Plasmas3
PHYSICS 250Special Topics in Physics (this course may have different topics. Not all of these can be considered for the DEEST)2-4
Group C: Energy Technology
Electrical Power Systems:
ENE,RES 254Electric Power Systems3
Nuclear Power Systems:
NUC ENG 124Radioactive Waste Management3
NUC ENG 161Nuclear Power Engineering4
NUC ENG 167Risk-Informed Design for Advanced Nuclear Systems3
NUC ENG 224Safety Assessment for Geological Disposal of Radioactive Wastes3
NUC ENG 225The Nuclear Fuel Cycle3
NUC ENG 265Design Analysis of Nuclear Reactors3
Renewable Resources:
MEC ENG 241BMarine Hydrodynamics II3
MAT SCI C226Photovoltaic Materials; Modern Technologies in the Context of a Growing Renewable Energy Market3
Materials Engineering:
EL ENG 290YAdvanced Topics in Electrical Engineering: Organic Materials in Electronics3
MAT SCI 213Environmental Effects on Materials Properties and Behavior3
NUC ENG 120Nuclear Materials4
NUC ENG 220Irradiation Effects in Nuclear Materials3
NUC ENG 221Corrosion in Nuclear Power Systems3
Thermal Engineering:
MEC ENG 140Combustion Processes3
MEC ENG 252Heat Convection3
MEC ENG 253Graduate Applied Optics and Radiation3
MEC ENG 254Advanced Thermophysics for Applications3
MEC ENG 255Advanced Combustion Processes3
MEC ENG 256Combustion3
MEC ENG 257Advanced Combustion3
MEC ENG 258Heat Transfer with Phase Change3


Energy Science and Technology Seminars: [1 unit  S/U] see announcements. The student must maintain a list of DEEST seminars attended, and present a list of at least 10 seminars to the qualifying exam committee. Questions on these seminars may be part of the PhD qualifying exam.

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination shall include an examination of knowledge within the DEEST. The qualifying examination committee shall include at least one member of the DEEST Graduate Group. If a faculty member of the student’s major, the DE representative can serve either as the chair or as an inside member of the committee. If the DEEST representative is from an affiliated program, it is permissible for him or her to serve as either an additional inside or outside member. Satisfactory performance on the qualifying examination for the PhD will be judged according to the established standards in the student’s major program. 


The dissertation topic shall incorporate study within the DEEST. The dissertation committee shall include at least one faculty member of the DE to ensure that the dissertation contributes in significant manner to the interdisciplinary field of Energy Science and Technology.

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Van P. Carey, Professor. Mechanical engineering, non-equilibirum thermodynamics, statistical thermodynamics, microscale thermophysics, biothermodynamics, computer aided thermal design, thermodynamic analysis of green manufacturing.
Research Profile

Jeffrey R. Long, Professor. Inorganic and solid state chemistry, synthesis of inorganic clusters and solids, controlling structure, tailoring physical properties, intermetal bridges, high-spin metal-cyanide clusters, magnetic bistability.
Research Profile

Kristin A. Persson, Assistant Professor. Lithium-ion Batteries.
Research Profile

Seth Sanders, Professor. System theory, high frequency power conversion circuits, nonlinear circuit theory, renewable energy, electric machine design.
Research Profile

Emeritus Faculty

Lutgard De Jonghe, Professor Emeritus. Ceramic properties, advanced ceramics, silicon carbide, densification studies, microstructure development.
Research Profile

John S. Newman, Professor Emeritus. Chemical engineering, electrochemical systems, lithium batteries, industrial electrochemical processes, methanol fuel cells.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Graduate Group in Energy Science and Technology

6141 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-1338

Fax: 510-642-6163

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DEEST Chair/Head Graduate Advisor

Van Carey, PhD

6123 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-7177

Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Yawo D. Akpawu

6189 Etcheverry Hall

Phone: 510-642-5084

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