Miljkovic to collaborate with UK researchers on nanoengineered coatings
Assistant Professor Nenad Miljkovic was recently awarded a UK Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering, for his project, “Scalable and durable next generation nanoengineered coatings.”
Visiting fellowships through the Academy enable an engineering department in a United Kingdom university to host a visiting researcher for visits lasting up to one month. Miljkovic’s visit will take place November 15-25, 2017.
Both degradation and critical heat fluxes are significant concerns in the performance of many engineering systems, particularly in high-energy applications, making them inefficient. Scalable, inexpensive, and surprisingly simple carbon or metal oxide-based nanostructured surfaces have the potential to fundamentally alter the performance in both these regards by altering condensation phase change.
Miljkovic will use the award to conduct laboratory research, and host seminars, meetings, and proposal writing sessions with professors at Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, the University of Manchester, and the BP Research Centre at Pangbourne.
“I hope my visit will initiate important long-term collaborations to enable the development of durable nanostructured surfaces for condensation applications such as power generation, thermally driven water desalination, building energy, and electronics cooling,” said Miljkovic.
A better mechanistic understanding of the fundamental degradation mechanisms and the development of durable coating techniques would enable a number of transformative applications, including increased efficiency of thermoelectric power plants and removal of high heat fluxes with limited temperature excursion.
Additionally, Miljkovic will deliver lectures at each UK location; leave functionalized and un-functionalized metal oxide samples from the U.S. with key researchers for experimental testing; and meet with researchers to discuss opportunities, sample characterization, data collection and potential funded collaborations.
His research intersects the multidisciplinary fields of thermo-fluid sciences, interfacial phenomena, and renewable energy. His research group, the Energy Transport Research Laboratory, aims to bring about transformational efficiency enhancements in energy (power generation to oil and gas to renewables), water, agriculture, transportation and electronics cooling by fundamentally manipulating heat-fluid-surface interactions across multiple length and time scales. The focus of his research is directed towards both fundamental research on micro/nanostructured surfaces for phase change and interfacial phenomena, and applied research on devices and systems including solar thermal energy conversion and atmospheric energy harvesting.
Miljkovic earned his master’s and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering in 2011 and 2013, and joined MechSE in August 2014.