• Smartgrid Smartgrid CEM's expertise in power system design, modeling, and testing are helping to develop future SmartGrid solutions.
  • HETDEX HETDEX Researchers are building a first-of-its-kind tracking system for the Hobby Eberly telescope.
  • Algae Program Algae Program Research is providing pathways to new products based on economical extraction of algae lipids
  • Trapped Field Magnet Trapped Field Magnet Unleashing the power of super-conducting materials to make next-generation machines
  • Vehicles Program Vehicles Program Exploring emerging fuels and onboard energy storage to unlock advancements in traditional transportation vehicles.
  • Green Ship Green Ship Comprehensive study of emerging green technologies for maritime vessels.


The center

The University of Texas at Austin (UT) is true to their motto, “What Starts Here Changes the World”.  The Center for Electromechanics (CEM) supports this goal as a leading applied research unit.  Researchers at the Center are recognized for expertise in advanced energy storage and power generation rotating machines for both intermittent and continuous duty applications. For the past four decades, CEM has served as a key contributor to the University’s success in research, education, and service to the community.


CEM is focused on state-of-the-art research, with facilities and equipment for staff engineers to design, build, and test first-of-a-kind prototypes.  With a proven track record in technology transfer to both government and industry sponsors, CEM researchers are experienced in working on small and large projects with industry and understand commercial pressures and time-scales.  The Center draws upon the creativity, knowledge, and experience of the academic faculty for real-world multi-disciplinary solutions.


Both undergrad and graduate UT students join CEM researchers in development and testing of new technologies.  This hands-on education not only provides UT students with must-have real-world experience, but also provides a conduit for technology transfer to research sponsors.  Students gain important exposure to emerging technologies and leading edge designs essential for a sustainable energy future.  Moreover, CEM brings as often as possible the enthusiasm and creativity of students to industrial problems so companies can not only add new technologies to their product lines but can also hire recent graduates with highly relevant experience.


CEM serves UT as an effective interface to industry.  CEM often called upon to consult with large consortiums to solve the world’s toughest problems.  CEM has helped multiple companies improve existing products through emerging technologies.  Center researchers take pride in providing the highest quality solutions.

What's neW

Austin American Statesman

The Future of Research in Texas

February 2015 - In this recent Stateman article “Hebner: Texas still needs to support innovation“ Dr. Robert Hebner reflects on the future of technology innovations in Texas: “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called for the elimination of the Emerging Technology Fund… This may be a reasonable decision. After all, when programs are not cost-effective, they need to be changed or eliminated. But this should not be the last decision. We have the opportunity and a responsibility to make Texas more successful in the 21st century than it was in the 20th."

Additional postings of this article can be found at:

houston chronicle san antonio
monitor star telegram

Dallas Morning News

Grid Solutions

February 2015 -
A recent article in the Dallas Daily News Oncor’s backup plan for Texas power gives jolt to energy storage industry” features Dr. Robert Hebner’s comments regarding energy storage on the grid.

Grid Solutions

January 2015 - CEM’s Director, Dr. Robert Hebner was featured in the December 2014 Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative Edition of Texas Co-op Power. Turn to page 21 to read the article “Two Power Predictions From Bob Hebner”
Excerpt: “The most fundamental change in the last 100 years was that we built a power system under the assumption of economies of scale — that the cheapest plan was to build a huge power plant and run wires out of it. What we’re seeing now is that we can develop various forms of distributed generation that are competitive in cost with those large-scale plants. That changes the equation.”

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