Edwin E. Kpodzro

Edwin E. Kpodzro Profile Picture
Home Department:
Mechanical Engineering

Mentor / Lab:
Fu Zhao - Sustainable Engineering Technology and Systems

Specific Research Area / Project:
Sustainable Design/Recovery of critical materials from end-of-life electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries

Research Profile:

My research interests are focused on mechanical user-centered product design and global development, incorporating the triple bottom line accounting framework (social, environmental, and financial) for sustainability. The water-food-energy nexus is of particular interest to me, as the world sees increasing demand for these three resources.

Currently, the research project I am working on aims to design an economically viable recovery process for critical materials such as lithium and cobalt from end-of-life (EOL) electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion batteries. Recovering these active materials will reduce the need for virgin mining and ensure a circular economy for the battery industry. With EOL EV batteries still at about 70% of their initial capacity, second-life applications can also be explored.

Edwin E. Kpodzro Research Picture

About Me:

My life journey and undergraduate education exposed me to the need for cutting-edge research and application that serve people and communities. I joined the D-PhD program to learn from and collaborate with the best at Purdue. With the world-class research that is conducted right here, there are few places with such great opportunities in one space.

Sitting in class with people from Political Science, Forestry and Natural Resources, Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, etc. is a nice break from, and also gives a wider perspective to, the mechanical engineering world of optimization. A memorable experience for me was serving as co-chair of ESE's 13th Annual Symposium titled "SDGs: Are We Chasing Unicorns?" I had a great time planning this event with my cohort and seeing it pan out successfully.

Ultimately, I want to use my degree to serve in a capacity that pushes the world and its people forward in a sustainable manner. The beauty of design is that it is versatile and applicable to all of life, so I am excited to see how I apply my education to the challenges ahead. An ideal vocation for me would be to shuttle between working in private industry and passing my knowledge and experience on to new students.


  • "Sustainable EOL Management of EV Li-ion Batteries to Maximize Resource Efficiency" at the following conferences:
  • 1. Critical Materials Institute Annual Meeting, February 2019, Colorado School of Mines, CO
  • 2. International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST), June 2019, Portland, OR


  • Student Organizations:
  • Purdue Graduate Researchers for International Development (GRID) - Career Opportunities Chair
  • Purdue Graduate InterVarsity Christian Fellowship - Member
  • Purdue Salsa Club - Member

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