Jonathan Malen is an associate professor in Mechanical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. His research interests pertain to creating nanostructured organic-inorganic hybrid materials. These materials aim to combine the manufacturability of plastics with the transport properties of semiconductors. Over the last twenty years, researchers focused on electronic applications (e.g. organic electronics), but the field is now expanding to address the challenges of energy demand and climate change. Nanostructured hybrids are promising replacements for bulk semiconductor photovoltaic and thermoelectric materials because they have controllable feature sizes at length scales characteristic of transport processes. The use of organic-inorganic nanostructured materials can also unlock new opportunities in mature energy fields, such as thermal energy storage and heat transfer enhancement.

Malen’s expertise in heat transfer, nanoscale transport, and organic-inorganic self-assembly is uniquely situated to develop nanostructured hybrid materials that push the limits of energy conversion, storage, and efficiency. His projects leverage ultrafast laser techniques and micro/nanofabrication to explore new materials and reveal new thermal transport properties of existing materials.

413 Scaife Hall
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Jonathan Malen
The Malen Laboratory

Measuring Thermal Transport Using Lasers


2009 Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

2003 Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

2000 BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Media mentions

College of Engineering names 2019 faculty award winners

The College of Engineering has announced the winners of the 2019 faculty awards. They include: Alan McGaughey, Paulina Jaramillo, Jana Kainerstorfer, Reeja Jayan, Carmel Majidi, Jonathan Malen, and Vijayakumar Bhagavatula.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Malen to develop thermoelectric semiconductor

MechE’s Jonathan Malen has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a thermoelectric semiconductor.

CMU Engineering

Waste not, watt not

With a National Science Foundation award, Jonathan Malen is collaborating to develop a thermoelectric semiconductor to convert waste heat into energy.

CMU Engineering

College of Engineering's 2017 game changers

From engineering new materials to constructing smart systems, researchers in the College of Engineering are innovating for the future. Read some of our highlights from 2017.

Malen selected to attend National Academy of Engineering’s 23rd annual U.S. Frontier of Engineering symposium

MechE’s Jonathan Malen was one of 82 young engineers selected to partake in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 23rd annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (USFOE) symposium in East Hartford, Connecticut.

CMU Engineering

Thubber can take the heat

Carmel Majidi and Jonathan Malen of MechE have developed a thermally conductive rubber material that represents a breakthrough for creating soft, stretchable machines and electronics.

Tribology & Lubrication Technology

Thubber featured in Tribology & Lubrication Technology

Thubber, a thermally conductive rubber material developed by MechE’s Carmel Majidi and Jonathan Malen, was featured in the “Tech Beat” section of Tribology & Lubrication Technology.

Daily Mail

Dailymail features “thubber”

MechE’s Carmel Majidi and Jonathan Malen have developed a material that could allow you to fold your iPad so that it fits inside your wallet. The duo’s creation, nicknamed “thubber,” can conduct heat while retaining its elasticity, much like biological tissue.

Majidi and Malen develop Thubber

MechE’s Carmel Majidi and Jonathan Malen have recently made a breakthrough in the field of soft robotics with the development of a thermally conductive, stretchable rubber called “Thubber.” Able to stretch to over six times its length while still remaining conductive, Thubber strikes an unprecedented balance between thermal and mechanical properties in soft dielectric materials and opens the door to high-power, flexible devices.

CMU Engineering

Engineering “thubber”

"Thubber," a thermally conductive rubber material, is a breakthrough for creating soft, stretchable machines and electronics.

CMU Engineering

Dowd Seed Fund for Fellowships

Some of the greatest innovations of our time started out with the riskiest ideas. But risky ideas often go unfunded—until someone is brave enough to trust in the researcher's dreams.

Nature Materials

Malen and McGaughey published in Nature Materials

MechE Professors Johnathan Malen and Alan McGaughey published an article in Nature Materials on their team's discovery of the effects of rotational disorder on thermal conductivity in superatomic structures.