I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Amit Goyal, Director of RENEW (Research and Education in eNergy, Environment & Water) and Professor of Empire Innovation at University at Buffalo in the Departments of Chemical & Biological Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics & the Department of Materials Design and Innovation, was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering. This is a very prestigious honor. Members are elected based on their outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education." Dr. Goyal was cited for materials science advances and contributions enabling commercialization of high-temperature superconducting materials.

Dr. Goyal has a long and impressive history of innovation that has significant implications for the advancement of grid technologies. For a number of years, he was a high temperature superconductivity (HTS) researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he was a corporate fellow and distinguished scientist cited for pioneering research in the field of high-temperature superconductors, including fundamental materials science advances and technical innovations that enable commercialization. With the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability’s (OE) support, Dr. Goyal was the lead inventor of the Rolling Assisted Bi-Axially Textured Substrate technology (RABiTS) that is used as a substrate for second generation HTS wires. His inventions led to the development of a large patent portfolio which was licensed to AMSC Inc. Dr. Goyal is also a co-inventor on a crucial buffer technology that is necessary for use with IBAD MgO substrate technology and this was technology licensed to SuperPower Inc. OE support also led to the invention of “round” Structural Single Crystal Faceted Fiber Substrate (SSIFFS) for low-ac loss applications. In addition, OE support led to the invention of Self Assembly of Vertical Nanocolumns of non-superconducting material within superconducting wires to achieve very high flux-pinning, crucial for applications in high-applied magnetic fields. All second generation wires being manufactured today use one or more of these technologies to fabricate high-performance superconducting wires. These inventions and associated R&D resulted in numerous awards, including the 2010 R&D Magazine's Innovator of the Year Award, 3 Federal Laboratory Consortium Excellence in Technology Transfer National Awards, and a DOE Energy100 Award. In 2011, Dr. Goyal was named a winner of the Department of Energy's Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award honoring U.S. scientists and engineers for exceptional contributions in research and development supporting DOE and its mission. For the E.O. Lawrence award, he was cited for his work in "pioneering research and transformative contributions to the field of applied high temperature superconductivity, including fundamental materials science advances and technical innovations enabling large-scale applications of these novel materials."

As we have seen time and again, innovative R&D can have far-reaching implications for society. University of Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi captured that idea eloquently in announcing Dr. Goyal’s election, saying “This honor is an inspiration to all who seek to push the boundaries of their respective fields to improve the well-being of humanity.”

Congratulations, Dr. Goyal!

Head shot of Dr. Amit Goyal
Photo courtesy University at Buffalo
Patricia A. Hoffman
Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity
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