Venkat Viswanathan is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Viswanathan’s research focus is on identifying the scientific principles governing material design, inorganic, organic, and biomaterials, for novel energy conversion and storage routes. The material design is carried out through a suite of computational methods being developed in his group, and validated by experiments. Some key research thrusts include identifying principles of electrolytes design (organic material) that can tune electrode catalysis, identification of new anode, cathode (inorganic materials), and electrolyte materials for next generation batteries, and new electrocatalysts (inorganic) and biomaterials for energy storage and separation applications. In addition to material design, his group is involved in several cross-cutting areas such as battery controls, electric vehicle security, and GPU accelerated computing.

Viswanathan received the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award in 2019, Sloan Research Fellowship in Chemistry in 2018, the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2016, the American Chemical Society PRF Young Investigator Award in 2014, and the Electrochemical Society Daniel Cubicciotti Award in 2010. He was a finalist for MIT TR Innovators Under 35 in 2014, and was an Electrochemical Society Herbert H. Uhligh Summer Fellow in 2009.

5109 Scott Hall
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Venkat Viswanathan
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Venkat Viswanathan’s Website

Energy Density in Batteries: Accelerating the Timeline

Electrolyte Technology: Batteries for Electric Vehicles


2013 Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University

2008 BS, Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

Media mentions


Viswanathan and Sripad eVTOL research featured

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan and Shashank Sripad were featured in Forbes for their research on eVTOLS.

Torque News

Viswanathan quoted on solid state batteries

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted in Torque News on solid-states batteries, created by QuantumScape.


Viswanathan announces work on optimization

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was mentioned by Aionics, where he is a chief scientist, about his new work on using robotics and machine learning for the efficient optimization of a non-aqueous battery electrolyte.

Viswanathan mentioned on electric aircraft

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan’s research on electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft was featured on

Mechanical Engineering

An EV-olution for charging stations

INCEPTS software is one of the first tools that uses real-world data to consider traffic-centric, environmental, and geographical effects on electric vehicle batteries.

IEEE Spectrum

Viswanathan quoted on Tesla and batteries

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted on IEEE Spectrum about Tesla’s progress with batteries for electric vehicles.

The New York Times

Viswanathan quoted on fitness tracker battery improvements

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted in The New York Times on improving batteries used in fitness trackers.


Viswanathan interviewed on the future of battery technology

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was interviewed by Bloomberg about his research in battery technology and the field’s potential for the future. Tools including machine learning may accelerate the innovations needed for electrification of long-haul vehicles and aircraft.

MIT Technology Review

Viswanathan quoted on electric trucks

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted in the MIT Technology Review on the feasibility of electric heavy-duty trucks. While electric short-haul trucks are close to commercial reality, more innovation is needed to replace diesel trucks for long-haul trips.


Viswanathan quoted on enhancing electric vehicles by using AI to find climate-friendly materials

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted in Physics on using AI to discover more environmentally-friendly materials for EV batteries.

CMU Engineering

An atomic look at lithium-rich batteries

An international collaboration explored the workings of a lithium-rich battery at the atomic scale. The research opens up pathways for improving existing battery cathodes—and designing new ones.

TIME for Kids

Viswanathan quoted on electric vehicles and batteries

MechE’s Venkat Viswanathan was quoted in TIME for Kids on the future of electric vehicles and batteries. He’s confident that “electric is the future,” especially as electric vehicles become more accessible.