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Seminar 10/10/2012 - Ronggui Yang, University of Colorado at Boulder: Manufacturable Nanostructures for Thermoelectrics and Thermal Management

Dr. Ronggui Yang is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He received his Ph.D degree focusing on Nanoscale Heat Transfer with Prof. Gang Chen and Professor Mildred Dresselhaus from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in February 2006. Since January 2006, he started his faculty career as an assistant professor at CU-Boulder and has been promoted to associate professor with early tenure in summer 2011 (two years ahead of the normal clock at CU-Boulder). Prior to MIT, he had a master’s degree in MEMS from UCLA in 2001, a master’s degree in Engineering Thermophysics from Tsinghua University in 1999, and a Bachelor’s degree in Thermal Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University in 1996. His research interests are on nanoscale and ultrafast transport phenomena, and their applications in energy and information technologies and controllable nano-manufacturing. His innovative research has won him numerous national and international awards including the ASME Bergles-Rohsenow Young Investigator Award in Heat Transfer, the NSF CAREER Award, the MIT Technology Review’s TR35 Award, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the Goldsmid Award form International Thermoelectrics Society, NASA Tech Brief Award, and numerous Best Research Paper Awards and nominations from ASME, APS and IEEE. He has also been won numerous departmental, college and campus level awards at the University of Colorado.

More than 80% of the world's total power is generated by heat engines and more than 60% of the U.S. primary energy is used in the form of heat. More strikingly, about 60-70% of the energy (in the forms of thermal, electrical, or electromagnetic) is not used efficiently to do useful work and is finally dissipated as waste heat, which needs to be managed or recovered. Clearly thermal transport plays an important role in energy conversion and use. Interestingly, nanotechnology renders unique opportunities to engineering thermal transport across solid-solid and solid-liquid interfaces for new materials that do not exist in nature for energy conversion and thermal management.

Our group focuses on the fundamental study of energy transport, conversion and storage in nanostructures. Using thermoelectric energy conversion as an example, we will show a deep understanding in thermal science and engineering can significantly enhance the performance of thermoelectric materials, devices, and systems. In the first part, we will talk about our contributions in the development of high efficiency thermoelectric nanocomposites through modeling and experimental work on thermal conduction in nanostructures. We will then show the importance of thermal management for electronics and energy systems, followed by the design of hybrid micro/nano-structured surfaces for enhancing phase-change heat transfer. In both examples, we emphasize low-cost, scalable and manufacturable nanotechnology solutions. Ongoing research directions and efforts will also be illustrated.

All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.

Location: Bowen Hall Auditorium

Date/Time: 10/10/12 at 12:00 pm - 10/10/12 at 1:00 pm

Category: PRISM/PCCM Seminar Series

Department: PRISM