Principal Investigator:

Tian Profile.jpg
Tian Li

Assistant Professor

Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University



1034 Ray W. Herrick Laboratories,

177 S Russell St, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Innovative solutions towards grand challenges require a multidisciplinary approach. By Redesigning Natural materials for Energy, Water, Environment and Devices (ReNEWED), the Li group aims to apply the fundamental science to establish a natural “toolbox” for sustainable solutions towards the carbon drawdown.


We are awarded with the Seed fund from the Center for High Performance Buildings!

Tian was named as a 2022 Packard Fellow! We are grateful for the generous support from the Packard Foundation

Our work is highlighted "ME's Li to develop 'living' wood through natural strengthening" (link)

Our paper on highly stretchable cotton textile electronic and ionic conductor is accepted in Advanced Fiber Materials! 

Our paper on very large scale radiative cooling (material cost < $100/ton) is accepted in Cell Reports Physical Science! 

Our paper on "cool color" (simultaneously realized vivid coloration and daytime cooling) is published in Advanced Science! 

We are awarded with ARPA-E grant under Harnessing Emissions into Structures Taking Inputs from the Atmosphere (HESTIA) program (link)!

We are awarded with Sony Innovation Award to develop cotton fabric based wearable sensor and power generator!

We are awarded with Shah Family Global Innovation Award and will be working with Plan International USA. Inc to help girl engineers in in Senegal, West Africa to harvest and test clean water from air for their school and community! ​(link)

Congrats to Wenkai for passing the Ph.D Prelim exam!

Our paper on Ambient Water Harvesting Fabric is published on Nano Letters (link)! 

Our Perspective on cellulose as a sustainable technological material to address global challenges is published on Nature (link)!

We contribute to the article "35 challenges in materials science being tackled by PIs under 35(ish) in 2021" (link) by Matter!

Congrats to Wenhui and Wenkai for passing the Ph.D Area Exam in Heat&Mass Transfer!

Congrats to Pengfei for passing the Ph.D Area Exam in Control!

Congrats to Sai Aranke for graduation with Master (thesis) at Mechanical Engineering!

Congrats to Gabriella Schalm for getting the Bottomley Research Scholarship!

We are awarded the Haythornthwaite Foundation Research Award from ASME!

We are awarded two seed funds from Center of High Performance Buildings! Go CHPB!

Our paper on Radiative Cooling Wood is published on Science (link)! Dr. Li was interviewed on Science Podcast: wood designed to cool buildings (link)!

Our paper on ion regulation among aligned cellulose molecular chains (0.6 nm channel) for ionic thermoelectric is published on Nature Materials (link)! Dr. Li was interviewed by Nature Index: Energy harvesters pick up power (link)!

Dr. Li was selected Forbes 30 under 30 in Energy Category (link)! 

Our radiative cooling wood is the Finalist of R&D 100 (link)!