CEE Seminar: Thermal Energy Transport & Conversion - Fundamentals & Applications

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Renkun Chen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
UC San Diego


Abstract: Heat transfer plays an important role in a variety of technologies such as energy conversion and storage, building energy efficiency, microelectronics and data storage. The fundamental length scales associated with the basic heat carriers, such as phonons, electrons and photons, generally fall in the range of nanometer to microns. Therefore, exploring and exploiting basic nanoscale thermal transport and conversion phenomena hold the key for developing high-performance devices and systems for thermal processes. There has been extensive research and progress in this area, which leads to both a deeper understanding of thermal transport phenomena as well as technological impacts. In this talk, I will present the work conducted in my research group on both the fundamental and application aspects of thermal energy transport and conversion, including nanoscale phonon transport, solar thermal energy conversion, and materials and devices for improving energy efficiency and electronic cooling.

Bio: Renkun Chen is an associate professor at UC San Diego. He received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley in 2008 and a bachelor's degree in engineering thermo-physics from Tsinghua University in 2004. Following a one-year stint as a postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, he joined the faculty of UC San Diego in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 2009. His group at UCSD is interested in fundamental and practical problems in heat transfer.