Third floor Horizon laboratories

Technical Research Areas

Technical areas of our research include:
  • Functional materials design
  • Synthesis and manufacturing
  • Characterization
  • Applications and systems
  • Modeling and simulation


We work to secure America's energy future.

The Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Center is a world leader in solid oxide fuel cell and energy systems research. Our objective is to use engineering to drive the science that is needed to enable fuel cells and energy systems. Solid oxide fuel cells are an essential component of advanced clean energy solutions, as they are highly efficient, work with a variety of fuels and emit no toxic by-products.  Since its inception in 2008, the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell SmartState Center has added $31.2 million in extramural research support and over 271 jobs to the state of South Carolina.

SOFCs can provide us with:

  • power for municipalities, rural areas and industries
  • heat and electricity for homes
  • automobiles that operate on several fuels without emissions
  • long-lasting mobile power for computers, cell phones and other electronics

In collaboration with the College of Engineering and Computing at University of South Carolina, the SOFC Center is building a bridge between current knowledge of SOFCs and future applications of the technology. Devices based on our innovative research and patented technologies will make sustainable, affordable energy choices available to everyone.


Dr. Ken Reifsnider

SOFC Center director Dr. Ken Reifsnider is one of the world’s preeminent energy researchers, specializing in high temperature energy systems and composite materials. Formerly the director of the Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center, Reifsnider is passionate about creating the next generation of energy conversion technologies.  Dr. Reifsnider currently holds the Russell Award for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering from the University of South Carolina.

Learn about Dr. Reifsnider.

Our Team

Our team of over 50 faculty and students includes renowned energy science researchers from all over the world. South Carolina is advancing as a top state for energy and hydrogen research due to the prestige of our researchers and the many science and technology breakthroughs they have achieved. The SOFC Center team is one of the largest and most comprehensive energy conversion and storage university teams in the U.S.

Learn more about our researchers.


The SOFC Center is discovering fundamentals that will be used to standardize and mass-produce sustainable energy, achieve national energy independence and create a cleaner environment for future generations.

Learn more about our research.


Through collaboration with public and private partners, the SOFC Center is advancing technology in a tangible way. Companies often partner with us to explore energy challenges that they face, and we help them find customized solutions that often have big-picture applications for society. We are constantly working with industry partners to create new sustainable energy products, and our partnerships combined with the broad and extensive expertise of our faculty and student team allow us to bring our research-based technology solutions to the marketplace quickly and efficiently.

Learn more about our partners.