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Energy Science and Engineering PhD

Our Energy Science and Engineering doctoral program provides both breadth and depth in graduate training while ensuring a solid grounding in scientific fundamentals for research. Topical areas have been chosen to resonate with Department of Energy priorities, with a tailored integration of graduate courses across disciplines to provide deep expertise in a chosen specialty.

The core program requirements provide a broad overview of subjects related to energy, while research topics are designed to be approached from interdisciplinary perspectives. Additionally, the ESE PhD program encourages the development of entrepreneurship and policymaking skills alongside science and engineering expertise.

Graduate students in the ESE PhD program join interdisciplinary research teams at both ORNL and UTK, exposing them to large-scale, problem-oriented research and development, while fostering their ability to work across disciplinary boundaries, encouraging them to approach research problems from new directions, and strengthening their ability to work in teams. Students are encouraged to develop their research in the context of potential solutions to important global problems, and are given opportunities to pursue entrepreneurial and policymaking interests.

The Bredesen Center offers the Energy Science and Engineering Fellowship with an annual stipend of up to $30,000, a tuition waiver, and health insurance for PhD candidates pursuing research in one of our areas of focus (including, but not limited to):

  • Nuclear Energy
  • Bioenergy and Biofuels
  • Renewable Energy
  • Energy Conversion and Storage
  • Energy Materials
  • Distributed Energy and Grid Management
  • Environmental and Climate Sciences
  • Transportation Sciences
  • Cross-Cutting Energy Sciences


Click here for the Bredesen Center’s Handbook

Click here for the 2021 Graduate Catalog


For more information on the Energy Science and Engineering PhD program, complete our Web Inquiry Form!