UNLV, Tesla Motors Form Research PartnershipUNLV President Len Jessup, left, and Tesla Motors Vice President for Business Development Diarmuid O’Connell sign a research partnership agreement witnessed by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval on the UNLV campus.Photo credit: R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo ServicesThe University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and Tesla Motors have formed a research partnership that will draw on the expertise of university faculty to pursue advanced topics in battery manufacturing.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and officials from UNLV and Tesla formally announced the partnership during an Oct. 7 ceremony in UNLV’s Science & Engineering Building.

“This is an exciting example of how public-private partnerships can benefit both the commercial and academic communities,” said UNLV President Len Jessup, who spoke at the event. “Our faculty are performing high caliber research and are enthusiastic about collaborating with a leader in the electrical vehicle manufacturing industry.”

The initial phase of the five-year agreement between Tesla and the university includes two projects led by UNLV engineers and scientists to enhance manufacturing processes at Tesla’s Northern Nevada Gigafactory.

A team of UNLV engineering researchers will focus on water recycling and treatment, and a separate team of chemists will work to improve recycling of metals from lithium ion batteries

Plans for Tesla's Northern Nevada facility were first announced last fall. The collaboration, which could total $1 million in funded projects over the next five years, provides opportunities for additional research as the partnership evolves.