Wang presents MechSE Distinguished Seminar
Evelyn Wang, the Gail E. Kendall Professor and Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, was this semester’s MechSE Distinguished Seminar speaker. She spoke on November 10 via Zoom to an audience of nearly 100 on “Nanoengineered Materials and Thermal Engineering for Advanced Energy and Water Technologies.”
Abstract: Nanoengineered materials have exciting, untapped potential to improve energy and water technologies. In this talk, I provide a few examples of how we leverage nanoscale manipulation capabilities to develop advanced thermal management, solar thermal energy conversion and water harvesting devices. First, I discuss our recent work that harnesses novel surface designs to control and manipulate wettability and liquid-vapor phase-change processes. We demonstrated high flux evaporation from ultra-thin nanoporous membranes and robust nanostructured surfaces that can repel liquids during condensation. Next, I discuss how nanoengineered materials can also be used to increase the efficiency of solar thermal devices. Specifically, I share our work on optically transparent thermally insulating aerogel solar receivers for energy conversion and medical sterilization. Finally, I present a water harvesting device that leverages the unique properties of metal organic frameworks and other adsorbents along with novel device architectures to address water scarcity challenges in arid climates.
Wang is the Gail E. Kendall Professor and Department Head in the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT. She received her BS from MIT, and MS and PhD from Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering. From 2006 to 2007, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Bell Laboratories. Her research interests include fundamental studies of micro/nanoscale heat and mass transport and the development of efficient thermal management, solar thermal energy conversion, and water harvesting systems. Her work has been honored with awards including the 2008 DARPA Young Faculty Award, the 2011 AFOSR Young Investigator Award, the 2012 ONR Young Investigator Award, the 2012 ASME Bergles-Rohsenow Young Investigator Award, the 2016 ASME EPPD Women Engineer Award, the 2017 ASME Gustus L. Larson Award, and the 2020 ICNMM Prominent Researcher Award. She was recognized as one of Foreign Policy’s Global Re-Thinkers in 2017. She is an ASME Fellow.