Graduate School recognizes Ran Yi with Alumni Association Dissertation Award


Ran Yi, a fourth year doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering, received the Alumni Association Dissertation Award from the Graduate School.

Yi’s doctoral research with adviser Donghai Wang, associate professor of mechanical engineering, focuses on developing high energy-density silicon and germanium anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. These materials can improve the energy density of lithium-ion batteries while lowering their cost, which has direct applications in the electric and hybrid electric vehicle markets.

“This research promises significant changes in the real world,” Yi said. “For example, the driving range of a state-of-the-art Tesla electric vehicle could be boosted from 300 miles to 450 miles per charge, even higher than most conventional cars running on gas.”

Yi has published six first-authored journal articles, one featured as a cover story, and presented his research at two high-level scientific conferences. In addition, leading companies in the battery field have validated the silicon material as one of the best materials.

The Alumni Dissertation Award provides funding and recognition to outstanding full-time doctoral students who have passed their comprehensive exams and have received approval of the dissertation topic. This award is considered to be among the most prestigious available to Penn State graduate students and recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship and professional accomplishment. This year, thirteen students were honored with the award and each will receive $5,000.


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Shea Bracken

Ran Yi

Ran Yi received the Alumni Association Dissertation Award from the Graduate School.



The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

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