Team

Principal Investigator


Andrej Lenert
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

Ph.D., MIT, 2014
S.M., MIT, 2010
B.S.Eng., University of Iowa, 2008

alenert@umich.edu
NCRC Building 28, 2046

Bio: Andrej Lenert is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research is at the intersection of heat transfer, optics, and nanomaterials, and focuses on developing new approaches for control of energy transport with the goal of enabling greater integration of renewables. He received his PhD from MIT in 2014, where he worked under the supervision of Evelyn N. Wang, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan prior to his appointment there. Dr. Lenert is the recipient of several awards including the 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, Forbes 30 under 30 (Science), Silent Hoist and Crane Award, Martin Family Fellowship for Sustainability, and the Ormat-MIT Energy Fellow. His work on thermophotovoltaic materials and devices has been cited as one of the “10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2017” and the “Biggest Clean Energy Advances in 2016” by the MIT Tech Review. Outside of research, Dr. Lenert is passionate about teaching fundamentals through real-world applications, making academic communities more diverse and inclusive, and maximizing the potential of his mentees. 

Post-Doctoral Researchers


Dr. Ali Davoodabadi
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Binghamton University
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Binghamton University
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology
davoodab@umich.edu

Ali’s current research includes the development of an aerogel-based receiver for linear concentrated solar power (CSP) and experimental characterization of radiative properties at high temperatures.

Graduate Students


Zachary Berquist
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University
zjber@umich.edu

Zach’s current research is on optimizing the physical and optical properties of silica aerogels for use as an insulator in high-temperature systems.

Tobias Burger
M.S.E., Chemical Engineering, University of MichiganB.S., Chemical Engineering, New Mexico Tech.
tobiasbu@umich.edu

Tobias is currently working to simulate a thin film TPV system in order to predict and optimize theoretical conversion efficiency. He is also working to fabricate thin-film devices.

Alexander Hill
M.S.E., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan
B.S., Chemistry, University of Denver
hillalex@umich.edu

As part of a co-advisement with Dr. Lenert and Dr. Johannes Schwank, Alex is investigating thermal and photo co-catalysts for environmental remediation.

Bosun Roy–Layinde
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Lagos
roybosun@umich.edu

Bosun’s work focuses on developing methods of enhancing the efficiency of thermophotovoltaic devices.

Sean McSherry
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Lafayette College
mcsherry@umich.edu

Sean is currently investigating radiative energy transfer in 2-dimensional hyperbolic metamaterials. 

Undergraduate Students


Rachel Fetter
Senior in Chemical Engineering, UM

Rachel is working on understanding the role of water in thermal transport within mesoporous silica aerogels. 

Sean Fernandez
Junior in Chemical Engineering, UM

Sean is working on building a prototype aerogel-based solar thermal receiver. 

Annyn Howle
Junior in Chemical Engineering, UM

Annyn is working on scaling radiative cooling films.

Former Members (Group Alumni)


POSTDOCS
Venkata Yarlagadda

Dr. Venkata Yarlagadda
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Kansas 

Current Position: GM Research.

PhD
Hannah Kim

Dr. Hannah Kim

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2021

Thesis: “Tailoring optical and thermal properties of nanostructured materials for passive radiative cooling”

Current Position: Leadership Development Program, BASF

MASTERS
  • Ziting Fan, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2018 – 2019. Current Position: PhD Student, National University of Singapore.
  • Krutarth Dhananjay Jhaveri, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2017 – 2018. Current Position: Environmental Engineer, Apple Inc. 
  • Yulei Zhang, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2016­ – 2017. Current Position: PhD Student, ChE, U Michigan.
UNDERGRADUATE
  • Zhewen Deng, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2020-2021. Current Position: PhD Student, Nanoengineering, UCSD
  • Spencer Cira, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2020-2021. Current Position: PhD Student, ChE, U Washington
  • Oluka Okia, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2020­ (SROP) – 2021. Current Position: PhD Student, ME, U Michigan
  • Kevin Turaczy, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2019. Current Position: PhD Student, ChE, Columbia University
  • Brendon Brown, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2019. Current Position: Engineer, Trucent Separation Technologies
  • Apoorva Gupta, Birla Institute of Technology and Science (Pilani, India), Department of Chemical Engineering, 2019. Current Position: MS Student, UCSD
  • Caroline Sempere, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2018­ – 2019. Current Position: Wells Engineer, ExxonMobil
  • Michael Veksler, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2018­ – 2019. Current Position: PhD Student, ChE, U Michigan
  • Alejandro Owen Aquino, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2018 (SROP). Current Position: PhD Student, ME, Georgia Tech.
  • Silva Zhang, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2018. 
  • Vinod K. Raman, U Michigan, Departments of Chemical Engineering and Computer Science (dual degree), 2017­ – 2019. Current Position: PhD Student, Statistics, U Michigan
  • Brandon Woo, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2017­ – 2018. Current Position: Staff Member, Lurie Nanofabrication Facility
  • Allison Goss, U Michigan, Department of Chemical Engineering, 2017