Energy Generation and Thermal Optimization
My research interests are centered on three main areas:
- Thermal energy harvesting using multiferroic materials
- Optimization of electrical systems through thermal management
- Computational modeling and characterization of thermal management schema
Some multiferroic materials have the ability to switch between ferromagnetic and paramagnetic states via a change in temperature. Through magnetic transduction and Faraday’s law we are able to convert heat to electricity. Patents were filed in the late 19th century by Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla but technological advances have made this a more formidable concept.
Many systems require thermal optimization to ensure operational efficiency. Automotive Li-ion batteries, mobile devices and high powered energy systems require various levels of thermal management. Thermal energy storage through phase change materials has the ability to maintain the temperature below threshold temperatures. Additionally, thermal energy harvesting devices can use the stored energy for auxiliary tasks increasing the system efficiency. A multi-stage approach would give us the ability to expand the functionality of these and additional systems.
As a computational researcher, I recognize the powerful usage of FEA to determine many aspects within the design phase prior to prototyping and testing. This approach combined with characterization and testing is necessary to determine complete solutions. Focusing on thermal management, I am interested in developing a streamlined “concept to solution” process to minimize variation in experimental validation efforts and expedite solution adoption.