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Advanced Technology (AT) | energy & power systems (esps)

ESPS Photo

The ESPS Division develops energy and power systems for government agencies such as the U.S. Navy, DARPA, NASA, DOE and NRC, as well as industry.  Our work ranges from basic research to prototype system demonstrations and is performed by interdisciplinary teams composed of research faculty members, staff engineers, technicians and graduate students.  We collaborate with Penn State academic departments in activities that include joint research projects, teaching, and advising.  Our faculty and staff members participate in research projects and forums that shape national policy on power and energy systems for underwater, atmospheric and space applications.


  • Hybrid power systems for underwater and surface vehicles
  • Liquid metal and hydrocarbon fueled underwater power systems
  • Modular nuclear power systems for space applications
  • Lightweight, energy-dense portable power systems
  • Renewable/sustainable energy sources
  • Rankine, Stirling and Brayton power systems
  • Combustion and heat transfer

The ESPS Division is organized into an Integrated Power Systems department that focuses on prototype power systems, a Technology, Concepts & Modeling department that focuses on the concepts and technology for new power systems, a Nuclear & Space Power department that focuses on nuclear and space specific technologies and an Experimental Support Group that operates two test sites where experimental operations are conducted for the Division. Please use the highlighted links to learn more about ESPS Division’s expertise and recent activities in these areas (see the TABs above for more information about these areas).