Principal Investigator

Nick Roberts is an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Utah State University. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University in 2010, following a BS in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2006. He spent 3 years as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 2010-2013.

Graduate Students

Amir Behbahanian (PhD: 2016-Present) is currently a PhD Student in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU. Amir is intrested in a lot of things and has worked on progects involving Thermal Management of Lithium Ion Battery Systems, Molecular Dynamics Modeling of Carbon Nanomaterials, and Capped Dewetting of Thin Metal Films.

Daxi Zhang (PhD: 2018-Present) is currently a PhD Student in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU. Daxi's PhD work is yet to be determined, but it will likely build upon his MS work involving the Development of a 3-omega Based Measurement Technique for Anisotropic Thermal Conductivity of Thin Films.

James Moughamian (MS: 2017-Present) is currently an MS Student in the Mechanial and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU. James has been working on using Phonon Wave-Packet Simulations to understand Thermal Boundary Conductance across strongly bonded interfaces.

Arden Barnes (MS: 2018-Present) has decided to stay in the lab to pursue and MS A degree. Arden's work in the lab as an undergraduate focused on using the Phonon Monte Carlo to understand the contribution to thermal conductivity from individual phonon branches in silicon carbide.

Undergraduate Students

Matthew Jouffray (Undergraduate: 2017-Present) is currently working on an EURP project focused on using phase change materials to manage the temperature of a railgun armature.

Alumni

PhD Students

ChangJin Choi (PhD: 2013-2017) completed his PhD in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU studying thermal transport at interfaces. ChangJin used multiple molecular dynamics techniques to understand the overall impact and the frequency dependent behavior of transport at interfaces. ChangJin is now at Applied Materials.


MS Students

Bhumika Nautiyal (MS: 2017-2018) completed her MS in Mechanical Engineering at USU. Her project focused around thermal and stress design and analysis of a battery system for aircrafts.

Tate Shorthill (MS: 2017-2018) completed his MS in Mechanical Engineering at USU. His project focused on using molecular dynamics to understand the role that pore size and density play in the thermal conductivity of ZrO.

Daxi Zhang (MS: 2015-2018) completed his MS in Mechanical Engineering at USU where he was studying thermal transport in thin films and across interfaces using the 3-omega technique. Daxi also used molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo techniques to complement his experimental measurements.

Tanner Yorgason (MS: 2016-2018) completed his MS in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU. Tanner was studying phonon heat transfer in carbon nanotubes, polymeric materials, carbon nanotube/polymer composites, Magnesium based intermetallics with nanoparticle inclusions, and in ceramic nuclear fuel using non-equilibrium molecular dynamics and phonon spectral dynamics.

Dallin Parkinson (MS: 2016-2017) completed his MS in Mechanical Engineering at USU. His project focused on developing a phonon scattering model for our Phonon Monte Carlo code.

Preston Ford (MS: 2014-2016) worked on his MS in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU. Preston was building a StarCCM model to simulate laser-solid interactions on the subnanosecond and nanometer scale.

Jacob Walker (MS: 2016-2017) completed his MS in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU while also working full time in industry. Jacob's project focused on understanding in-field post-weld heat treatments of pipe.

Emma Davis (MS: 2016-2017) completed her MS in Aerospace Engineering at USU. Her research focused on aerospace composite materials.

Praveen Medisetti (MS: 2014-2016) completed his MS in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU and was studying the role of dispersion and functionalization on the mechanical properties of carbon nanomaterial enhanced polymers, including structural and elastomers. Praveen's work was primarily experimental and includes fabrication and characterization of the enhanced specimens.

Matt Ralphs (MS: 2014-2016) completed his MS degree in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU. He studied the role of functionalization and strain on the thermal transport properties of carbon nanomaterial enhanced polymers. Matt's work was primarily experimental. Matt was also awarded a 2015 Summer Student Fellowship at Idaho National Lab to work on a NASA funded project for Radioisotope Power Generators. Matt is now pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Arizona State University.

Ben White (MS: 2014-2016) completed his MS degree in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU. He studied a handful of unrelated things including directed assembly of catalyst particles on a substrate for controlling particle size and spacing distributions, investigating intermetallics as catalyst particles for carbon nanotube growth, and how he could maximize his time rock climbing while still getting a graduate degree. Ben also set up the lab's 3-omega system and helped out with those measurements. Ben is now pursuing a PhD in Economics at the University of Wyoming.

Aarthi Ramesh (MS: 2014-2016) completed her MS in 2016 from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU. Aarthi used Monte Carlo simulations to study thermal transport behavior in materials with high interface density. Aarthi was also the recipient of a 2014 Presidential Doctoral Research Fellowship at USU.


Undergraduate Students

Alyssa Begaye (NASMP Student: 2018) worked in the lab as part of the Native American STEM Mentorship Program where she fabricated and characterized carbon nanomaterial based elastomeric polymer composites.

Kristy Jim (NASMP Student: 2018) worked in the lab as part of the Native American STEM Mentorship Program where she fabricated and characterized carbon nanomaterial based elastomeric polymer composites.

Harry Davis (Undergraduate: 2017-2018) worked in the lab mostly fixing things that have stopped working.

Arden Barnes (Undergraduate: 2017-2018) worked on the Phonon Monte Carlo code to get it working in other transport regimes and expanding the material capabilities.

McCay Stoker (Undergraduate: 2015-2017) is currently pursing a graduate degree at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. In our lab McCay work molecular dynamics modeling of capped dewetting of gold films. He presented this work at the USU Student Research Symposium and the Utah Academy of Arts and Science Conference where he was awarded the Best Engineering Paper Award.

Alexander Brown (Undergraduate: 2016) mostly helped with mechanical measurements of some bio-based adhesives.

Sam Driggs (Undergraduate: 2015-2016) is currently at Inovar in Ogden, UT. Sam worked on the Monte Carlo code, developing some simulation rules for uncertainty based on simulation time and number of phonons.

Trevor Floyd (Undergraduate: 2015-2016) was a mostly independent research that was re-designing a passenger vehicle airbag.

Tanner Yorgason (Undergraduate: 2015-2016) used molecular dynamics to study thermal transport in carbon nanotubes..

Peter Hartvingson (Undergraduate: 2015-2016) helped with simulations of molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo. Peter is now at UCLA.

David Wood (Undergraduate: 2014-2016) is currently pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at BYU. David was awarded a USU Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (SURCO) grant to study the thermal properties of thin PDMS films with embedded, vertically aligned carbon nanofibers and the applications in a health monitoring system for people during recreational activities in remote areas in extreme conditions. David was also the recipient of a 2015 Engineering Undergraduate Research Program (EURP) award.

Emma Davis (Undergraduate: 2014-2016) is currently working at Northrup Grumman and working on her MS in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU. Emma developed a process to produce powders of funtionalized carbon nanotubes and graphene from substrate grown carbon nanotubes and graphite, respectively. Emma was also the recipient of at 2015 Engineering Undergraduate Research Program (EURP) award.

Cedale Armstrong (NASMP Student: 2015) worked in the lab as part of the Native American STEM Mentorship Program where he fabricated and tested carbon fiber based composites for thermal and mechanical applications.

Bradford Kinsel (NASMP Student: 2015) worked in the lab as part of the Native American STEM Mentorship Program where he fabricated and tested carbon fiber based composites for thermal and mechanical applications.

Anson Wing (Undergraduate: 2015) is currently working on his BS in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at USU. Anson helped populate a data base for thermal properties of carbon nanomaterial enhanced polymers. Anson is also helps out with other material processing and measurements in the lab and is interested in applying his recent experiences to developing new precursor materials for 3-D printing.

Albert Latham (Undergraduate: 2014-2015) is now at the University of Wisconsin. Albert was awarded a USU Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (SURCO) grant to study new technologies for 3-D printing. Albert liked to tinker with printers, computers, and other electronics.

Alyssa John (Undergraduate: 2013-2015) is currently a PhD student at Texas A&M. At USU she studied the impact of conductive nanomaterials on the thermal conductivity of paraffins as well as supporting other research in the lab. Alyssa was a recipient of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission Scholarship.

Mitch Onkes (Undergraduate: 2013-2015) is currently working in the Oil and Gas Industry. Mitch was a recipient of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission Scholarship.

Benjamin White (Undergraduate: 2014) worked in our lab as an undergraduate on the 3-omega measurement setup before deciding to commit to an MS degree.

Tyson Kesler (Undergraduate: 2013-2014) is currently working at Rio Tinto Kennecott and has plans to pursue an MBA. At USU Tyson designed and built the lab's stepped-bar apparatus for measuring thermal conductivity and resistance of small, but bulk specimens.

Bailey Swanson (Undergraduate: 2013-2014) is currently working at Garmen. At USU Bailey designed and built a system for measuring the transient behavior of near room temperature phase change materials for thermal energy storage.