Sheng Shen is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, with a background in nanoscale engineering, thermal science, photonics, and materials science. Shen’s research interests include nanoscale thermal transport and energy conversion phenomena, and their applications in solar or thermal energy conversion, thermal management, and multifunctional materials.
The energy transport properties of nanostructures can differ greatly from their bulk counterparts because the characteristic dimensions of nanostructures are often comparable with the wavelength or the mean free path of energy carriers such as photons, phonons, and electrons. At the nanoscale, the properties of materials can be engineered to increase the energy density or energy conversion efficiencies. In his recent research, Shen demonstrated nanoscale thermal radiation exceeding Planck’s law by three orders of magnitude and thermal conductivity of polymer nanofibers three hundred times higher than that of bulk polymers.
Shen is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2013) and DARPA Young Faculty Award (2013). He also received the Philomathia Foundation Research Fellowship in Alternative Energy Research from UC-Berkeley (2010), Hewlett-Packard Best Paper Award from ASME Heat Transfer Division (2008), and Best Paper Award from Julius Springer Forum on Applied Physics (2008).
Engineering Polymer Nanofibers
2011 Postdoc., Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
2010 Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Minor in Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2003 MS, Engineering Thermophysics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
2000 BS, Power Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Creating an on-off switch for heat
This polymer thermal regulator can quickly transform from a conductor to an insulator, and back again. By switching between the two states, it can control its own temperature as well as the temperature of its surroundings, such as a refrigerator or computer.
Sheng Shen’s spectacular supersolder
Mechanical Engineering’s Sheng Shen has created “supersolder,” an ultracompliant thermal interface material with twice the thermal conductivity of conventional solders.
A high-tech spin on spider silk
This game-changing technology can transform polymers from soft and thermally insulating materials to an ultra-strong and thermally conductive material.