Congratulations to mechanical engineering PhD student Xiaokun Gu, winner of the Winter 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the College of Engineering and Applied Science!
As a student, Gu's research has focused on understanding the mechanisms of heat transport in novel material systems, such as two-dimensional materials like graphene, silicene, and MoS2, as well as layered materials like bulk MoS2, and nanostructured materials.
The Outstanding Dissertation Award recognizes one student in the college of engineering each semester for the intellectual merit and impact of their dissertation and how the work contributes to the advancement of knowledge.
Gu has developed tools based on first-principles calculations to accurately and efficiently predict how phonons, a quantum particle that serves as one of the main heat carriers in solid materials, scatter with other phonons and how they interplay with interfaces and defects. This information could lead to the development of materials with exceptional thermal properties, since researchers can introduce deliberate artifacts to tune thermal properties.
His thesis advisor was mechanical engineering professor Ronggui Yang.
Gu has accepted an offer from the School of Mechanical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, in Shanghai, China to be an assistant professor. He will start there in December.