Center for Energy Systems (CES)

The Center for Energy Systems was established in 2012 by Dr. Farhad Ashrafzadeh with a grant funded by Don Greulich. Over the years since its inception, the growth has been tremendous. Starting in the fall of 2012 with only five students, CES now has over 15 student employees and two staff engineers. Over summer and winter breaks the student go to full time in order to complete projects that are completely funded by industrial contracts.

Goals & Objectives

The Center for Energy Systems’ mission is to provide a multidisciplinary, inviting, and engaging environment in which students develop skills through the successful delivery of industrial projects. With successful projects, the Center for Energy Systems will advance scientific knowledge and cultivate technological developments for industrial sponsors

Capabilities & Services

Staff Experience

Our staff has a combined 30 years of experience in industrial research and new product development, resulting in over 80 patents. Our research center also has two certified 6-Sigma Black Belt engineers with a strong focus in commercialization of proposed solutions using industry proven methodologies.

Industrial Working Model

Our research center listens and works directly with customers from the start to the end of the project. We also provide robustness testing (DOE) and project management tools with dedicated documents to action items and project timelines.


Project-Based Engineering Curriculum

Western Kentucky University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) delivers hands-on design courses for freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Simulation and analysis courses are also provided, utilizing MATLAB, LabVIEW, and SolidWorks’ advanced capabilities.

Research Center Hiring Model

Student turn-over upon graduation leads to a variation in project quality and deliverables from year to year; therefore, the Center for Energy Systems has hired one full-time technical lead and one full-time research engineer to guarantee quality and consistency.


Over $1,000,000 of Industrial Funding since 2013

100% Industrially Funded




Student Research Assistants
Sara Barrens
Savannah Bell
Andrew Blair
Steven Brewer
Arrah Calvin
Caroline Camfield
Samuel Everson
Timothy Goodwin
Murphey Kilgore
Terrance Life
Emma Sellers
Bao Tran


For Students 
Info for students

For Faculty
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For the Community
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Center News & Updates

National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program