MMAE Seminar Series: Heng Wang

The Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering presents a 2023–2024 Seminar Series featuring Heng Wang, assistant professor in materials engineering at IIT, who will give a presentation on “Thermoelectric Research from New Materials to New Phenomena.” This seminar will take place on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 in the auditorium (room 104) of the John T. Rettaliata Engineering Center from 3:30–4:30 p.m. This event is open to all graduate students and faculty.

Abstract: Thermoelectric phenomena allow energy conversion between heat and electricity, which can be used in energy harvesting, solid state refrigeration, temperature regulation, and sensing. New opportunities can be created with progresses in materials, manufacturing, and new phenomena. In this seminar I will introduce our effort on these different aspects: On materials, we investigated two strategies to engineer materials beyond what can be achieved in their conventional forms, potentially leading to better thermoelectric materials. We will also introduce our study toward better understanding of the photo-thermoelectric phenomena, which are results of the interplay of light-matter interaction and thermal-driven carrier transport. Such phenomena are important for high performance optical sensing, which is an area with great potential impact, but often overlooked by thermoelectric research. We will discuss the physical origin, measurement techniques and the analysis with a few case studies. Our discussion on new phenomena will be complemented by initial development on the manufacturing of new devices for sensing applications.

Bio: Heng Wang is an assistant professor at department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. in materials science and engineering from Tsinghua University, China, and his PhD in materials science from California Institute of Technology. Before joining IIT he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. He has over ten years of research experience in thermoelectric materials, physics, and devices, with more than 13000 citations. His current research interests include high-performance thermoelectric materials, as well as device design, manufacturing and new applications. In addition, he is particularly interested in the interplay of photoelectric and thermoelectric phenomena.