Energy and Sustainable Development with Design


Mechtenberg Research Laboratory


The Energy and Sustainable Development with Design (ESDD) Research Laboratory, led by Dr. Abigail Mechtenberg, focuses on the following key research areas:

          • Socio-technical design research involving hybrid minigrid and vehicle power management within an energy, sustainable development, and averting sixth extinction nexus.
          • Physics education research, experimental design pedagogy, and econophysics.
          • Energy E3 pedagogy and propagation model: E3 = education, engineering design, & entrepreneurship
          • Global health risks associated with unaffordable and/or unreliable electricity.
          • Sustainable development involving the interconnections between health, education, and economics.
          • Renewable energy.
          • Asset-based International Development focused research with the highlight of weaved wind turbine blades from papyrus, banana fibers, and rafia. Weaved over airfoil frame and with local resin, like other wind turbine blades.

With this broad spectrum of research areas, it is important for Dr. Mechtenberg to maintain a non-traditional research group from multiple disciplines across various colleges and schools in order to advance ESDD research. This unique cluster of students includes those majoring in physics (complex systems and applied physics), physics education, medical/pre-professional, engineering (electrical, mechanical, and environmental), business (entrepreneurship), and architecture to define this unique energy and sustainable development with design research focused laboratory.

Joining the ESDD Research Laboratory

Students interested in joining the ESDD Research Laboratory should contact Dr. Abigail Mechtenberg at amechten@nd.edu. Students accepted into the Mechtenberg Research Laboratory are required to complete an Ethics Agreement and an ESDD Laboratory Agreement, as well as University mandatory safety and training courses.

        • To view the Energy Ethics Agreement either as potential research student or collaborator, contact Dr. Mechtenberg.
        • To view the ESDD Laboratory and Energy Field Work Agreement, contact Dr. Mechtenberg.