UVA Thermal Management and Diagnostics Group

The UVA Thermal Management and Diagnostics Group includes a diverse group of faculty and students working on an amazingly diverse range of applications, at an even more amazing range of length scales, from nano structured thermal interface materials for nanoscale electronics to jet-blast deflectors for next generation aircraft carriers.  This group integrates first-principle modeling, simulations, computations and experimentation in a unique way to advance the field of thermal management.

The team includes material scientists, physicists, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and computer scientists.  Diverse in composition, but all united in vision.  The UVA Thermal Management and Diagnostics Group offers access to a team with capabilities unrivaled elsewhere.  Please feel free to contact individual researchers directly, or if unsure of the best initial contact, email the team at thermal@virginia.edu.


Pamela Norris

The Norris Research Group

Pamela Norris
Executive Associate Dean for Research, School of Engineering & Applied Science
Frederick Tracy Morse Professor, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Pamela Norris is the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Frederick Tracy Morse Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.  A native Virginian, she completed her undergraduate studies at Old Dominion University and received her Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in 1992. Her graduate research involved an experimental and analytical study of heat transfer in diesel engine cylinder heads. She then joined Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien’s microscale heat transfer research group at the University of California at Berkeley as a Visiting Scholar and a Visiting Lecturer. In 1994 Pam joined the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UVA where she was promoted to Professor in 2004 and then to Associate Dean in 2012. Her current research includes: nanoscale thermal transport, phonon engineering, heat pipe technology, and applications of aerogels. She has served as the PI or Co-PI over 40 sponsored research projects representing over $20M from DOD, NSF, Industry and Foundations. She currently serves as Chair of the ASME Heat Transfer Division Long Range Planning Committee, as an Associate Editor of Microscale and Nanoscale Thermophysical Engineering, and on the editorial board of Journal of Thermal Sciences.

The Norris Research Group

 Dean Norris is the founder and director of the  Nanoscale Heat Transfer Laboratory, the Aerogel Research Laboratory,  and the Thermal Energy Management Laboratory. The Nanoscale Heat Transfer Laboratory houses a state-of-the-art laboratory facility for optical techniques in nanooscale heat transfer and performs experimental, computational, and theoretical investigations of thin-film thermophysical properties and interfacial thermal transport. The Thermal Energy Management Laboratory investigates thermal management techniques such as utilization of heat pipes for dissipation of waste heat generated by electrical generators aboard next-generation aircraft and redesign of landing pads and jet-blast deflectors on future aircraft carriers.  The Aerogel Research Lab is active in aerogel production and material modification techniques, flow characterization studies, acoustic studies, and in the development of thin film coatings for electrical, acoustical, and thermal isolation in sensors.

More: https://pamelanorris.wordpress.com/

Patrick Hopkins

ExSiTE Group

Patrick Hopkins
Assistant Professor
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Patrick Hopkins is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. He joined the UVA faculty in 2012. Prior to his appointment at UVA, he was a Harry S. Truman Postdoctoral Fellow at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque , NM. While at Sandia, he conducted research in the fields of short-pulsed interactions with solids and resulting electron, photon, and phonon interactions in nanosystems, with an emphasis on nanoscale energy transport. Patrick received his Ph.D. at UV. in 2008 after receiving dual degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Physics from UVA in 2004. As founder and director of the ExSiTE Lab, his current research interests are in developing experimental diagnostics and predictive models to measure and understand the thermal and acoustic properties of matter and their interfaces and surfaces.  Patrick has authored or co-authored over 100 refereed journal publications in the areas of photonic, electronic, and/or phononic transport on the nanoscale and is a recipient of Young Investigator Awards from the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

The ExSiTE Group

The ExSiTE Group (Experiments and Simulations in Thermal Engineering) is Professor Patrick Hopkins’ Research Group at the University of Virginia. The group’s research focus is in energy transport, charge flow, and photonic interactions with condensed matter, soft materials, liquids, vapors and their interfaces.  We use various optical thermometry-based experiments to measure the thermal conductivity, thermal boundary conductance, thermal accommodation, strain propagation and sound speed, and electron, phonon, and vibrational scattering mechanisms in a wide array of bulk materials and nanosystems.

Avik Ghosh

Virginia Nano Computing Group

Avik Ghosh
Professor, Charles L. Brown Department of
Electrical & Computer Engineering

Avik Ghosh is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia. He has over 80 refereed papers, book chapters and two upcoming textbooks in the areas of computational nano-electronics and device modeling including molecular electronics, 2-D materials like graphene and topological insulators, low power subthermal switching, nanomagnetic memory and logic, magnetic material by design, nanorelays, and nanoscale thermal engineering. He has given over 80 invited lectures worldwide on these topics. He is Fellow of the Institute of Physics (IOP), IEEE Senior member, and has received the IBM Faculty Award, the NSF Career award, the best paper award at the 2006 ISSSR Army Research Conference, the NSF Materials Genome Grant and UVA’s All University Teaching Award.

Virginia Nano-Computing Research Group

At the Virginia Nano-Computing Research Group, the focus is on understanding non-equilibrium properties of nano-scale material structures. Our work applies a combined understanding of fundamental physics , chemistry, material science, and device engineering to explore novel device concepts.The research group also explores and utilizse high performance computational resources including the use numerical algorithms to advance the understanding of nanoscale science and engineering. To address the challenges of extending today’s electronic devices to the next generation of devices, science can no longer work out of context to engineering, but rather both should work in tandem. The interdisciplinary nature of our approach is necessary to explain the science and push the engineering of future devices.

Kevin Skadron


HotSpot 5.0 Logo

Kevin Skadron

Harry Douglas Forsyth Professor
Professor and Department Chair, Computer Science
Director, Center for Automata Processing

Kevin Skadron is Professor and Chair of Computer Science, as well as a Harry Douglas Forsyth Professor and Director and co-founder of the Center for Automata Computing, at the University of Virginia, where he has been on the faculty since 1999. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Princeton University, and his BS and BA degrees in Computer Engineering and Economics from Rice University. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the ACM, and a recipient of the ACM SIGARCH Maurice Wilkes Award. Skadron’s research interests focus on design and application of accelerators and heterogeneous architectures, including solutions to power, thermal, reliability, and programming challenges. To support research in these areas, he and Mircea Stan have developed the HotSpot, VoltSpot, and ArchFP modeling tools.

HotSpot 6.0 Temperature Modeling Tool

HotSpot is an accurate and fast thermal model suitable for use in architectural studies. It is based on an equivalent circuit of thermal resistances and capacitances that correspond to microarchitecture blocks and essential aspects of the thermal package. The model has been validated using finite element simulation. HotSpot has a simple set of interfaces and hence can be integrated with most power-performance simulators like Wattch. The chief advantage of HotSpot is that it is compatible with the kinds of power/performance models used in the computer-architecture community, requiring no detailed design or synthesis description. HotSpot makes it possible to study thermal evolution over long periods of real, full-length applications.

Mircea R. StanMircea R. Stan
Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
IEEE Fellow
Email: mircea@virginia.edu

Professor Mircea Stan is teaching and doing research in the areas of high-performance and low-power very large scale integration (VLSI), temperature-aware circuits and architecture, embedded systems, and nanoelectronics.

Professor Stan is the director of  the High-Performance Low Power (HPLP) lab which is dedicated to research in the area of Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) Circuit design. Ongoing research ranges from power-, temperature-, and reliability-aware CMOS circuit design to explorations in spintronics and nanoelectronics.

Process, voltage, temperature, and aging variations are some of the most serious roadblocks facing the semiconductor industry.   Temperature-aware circuits and architectures affect the semiconductor industry by creating higher levels of integrations, better performance,  lower power consumption, and lower cost.


PoonJoseph Poon
William Barton Rogers Professor of Physics, Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

Professor Poon’s research program is in materials physics. He designs and synthesizes novel amorphous metals, nanostructured materials, and intermetallic compounds. The problems he investigates include structure-property relationships particularly on how atomic- and nano-scale structures determine magnetic anisotropy, thermoelectric performance, and mechanical behavior. His multi-level study employs both  experimental and computational methodologies, utilizing various state-of-the-art electrical, thermoelectric, magnetic, and mechanical probes to measure properties.

The materials studied have the potential for technological applications. In recent years, the effort has resulted  in the discovery of a new type of amorphous metals that exhibit ultrahigh strengths and corrosion resistance. His group has also observed unusual electronic and magnetic structures in the metal-based compounds including resonant state near the Fermi level and half-metallic behavior.

Poon’s work has been recognized by Physics World: 

Nanoparticles Boost Thermoelectric Efficiency

Researchers in the US have unveiled a new high-temperature material that is 60% better at converting heat to electricity than comparable “thermoelectrics”. The material, which is a nanocomposite, is stable up to temperatures as high as 700 °C. It could therefore potentially be used to boost the fuel efficiency of cars by recovering energy from the vehicle’s exhaust heat.

Leonid V. ZhigileiLeonid V. Zhigilei
Professor, Materials Science & Engineering

Professor Zhigilei’s research interests include computational materials science, development of multiple length and time-scale computational methods for materials modeling, theoretical and numerical analysis of the dynamic non-equilibrium processes in materials undergoing processing by short laser pulses, investigation of the microscopic mechanisms of phase transformations, and properties of nanostructured and non-crystalline materials.


Mona ZebarjadiMona Zebarjadi is currently an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Rutgers University. She will join UVA September 2016 as a joint assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials Science Engineering departments.

Assistant Professor Zebarjadi is’s research interests are in electron and phonon transport modeling; materials and device design, fabrication and characterization; with emphasis on energy conversion systems such as thermoelectric, thermionic, and thermomagnetic power generators and heat management in high power electronics and optoelectronic devices. She received her Bachelor’s degree in physics from Sharif University in 2004 and her PhD in EE from UCSC in 2009, after which she started her postdoctoral position at MIT working jointly with electrical and mechanical engineering departments. She joined Rutgers University in January 2013. She is the recipient of 2014 AFOSR career award, A.W. Tyson assistant professorship award, MRS graduate student gold medal, and SWE electronics for imaging scholarship.


Keivan EsfarjaniKeivan Esfarjani will be joining the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department in Fall.

Keivan Esfarjani  is an expert in first principles calculations of electron and phonon transport in bulk, nanostructures, and carbon nanotubes. He is the author of a widely read and cited book on computational materials science published by Springer in 2001; and more than 100 review and journal articles. His work on carbon nanotube p-n junctions, electronic cloaking, first principles calculations of thermal conductivity, observation of coherent phonons and explanation of phonon softening in PbTe have attracted much attention from the scientific community and highlighted in news. Dr. Esfarjani started his education in France, where he obtained his Engineering degree from Ecole Centrale de Paris and MSc in solid state physics from University of Paris 7. He then came to the US for a PhD in Theoretical condensed matter physics at the University of Delaware. Following a postdoc at Washington University in Saint Louis, he had been assistant and then associate professor at the Institute for Materials Research of the Tohoku University, where the main theme of his research was materials properties modeling from first-principles. This was followed by a 4 years stay at the Sharif University, a visiting associate professorship at UC Santa Cruz, until he moved to the Mechanical Engineering Department of MIT as a research Scientist to work on modeling thermoelectricity, heat transport and related phenomena from first-principles. He is presently pursuing his research interests in the fields of cooling, energy conversion and storage, near-field radiation, and basically in heat management. Keivan Esfarjani’s website