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Sara Sultan

Cross-Cutting Energy Sciences


Faculty Advisor: Kyle Gluesenkamp

Sara is working with the Building Equipment Group at ORNL to develop a Phase Change Material based Thermal Storage System that can off-set the peak load in buildings. She is interested in heat pump and HVAC technologies and working on coupling conventional air conditioning equipment with PCM for economic benefits.

She pursued an entrepreneurial track during her coursework as a knowledge breadth curriculum and went beyond the credit requirements to improve her business model.

Sara received a bachelor’s degree in physics but later decided to steer her journey towards renewable energy, which led her to the top engineering school in Pakistan, ‘National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)’. She completed her masters from the U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy at NUST and also visited Oregon State University as an exchange research scholar where she worked on hydropower projects.

Apart from academics, Sara is also an artist, a traveler, and a writer. She enjoys painting and capturing landscapes and occasionally writes about life in her blogs.


  • Phase Change Materials coupled with a heat pump to off-set peak load in buildings - ORNL
  • Pico hydropower using Pelton and Crossflow turbines – Oregon State University 2016
  • Solar water desalination using humidification-dehumidification – NUST, Pakistan 2015  


  1. B.S. Physics

Hazara University, Pakistan


  1. M.S. Energy System Engineering

U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy

National University of Sciences and Technology, NUST, Pakistan


Professional Service

Sara defines mentoring as her passion. She founded a Mentoring Forum to provide volunteer professional services such as Tailoring Resume, Interview guidelines, and Drafting compelling essays for graduate school.

She has delivered some awareness-raising seminars to promote renewable energy research at universities in Pakistan and continues to do so through online webinars.

She also served as a volunteer instructor at a university in her hometown to promote energy studies and to encourage students to pursue energy research.

She is a member of the Environment and Sustainability Committee of the Student Government Association at the University of Tennessee and also founder of the Pakistan Students Association.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Awarded research assistantship at Oregon State University as exchange scholar sponsored by USAID and Arizona State University
  • Awarded fully funded merit scholarship & research assistantship at NUST
  • Certified by ‘Toastmaster International’ for communication skills
  • Finalist in ‘NUST All Pakistan National Hult Prize Business Competition’ by Clinton Global Initiative (Selected among top 11 out of more than 200 entries throughout the country)
  • Completed an online 3 course series in ‘professional writing’ at The University of California Berkeley through edX.
  • Runner up during Poster competition at Duke Energy Conference to win 750$ cash prize



Research Publications:

Google Scholar Profile:

Other links: