People

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Professor Patrick E. Hopkins

phopkins[at]virginia[dot]edu

Patrick’s Google Scholar Profile

_Patrick

Patrick is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia, with courtesy appointments in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Physics.  Patrick received his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from UVA in 2008, following a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.A. in Physics at UVA in 2004.  He spent 3 years as a Harry S. Truman Postdoctoral Fellow at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM from 2008 – 2011.  Patrick began his faculty appointment at UVA in 12/2011 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in 8/2015, and promoted to Professor in 8/2018.  Patrick is a recipient of the AFOSR and ONR Young Investigator Awards, the ASME Bergles-Rohsenow Young Investigator Award in Heat Transfer, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).  Patrick is a Fellow of ASME. Patrick is a co-director of the ExSiTE Lab.

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SENIOR STAFF

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Principal Scientist

John T. Gaskins, Ph.D.

jtg2e[at]virginia[dot]edu

John graduated with his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2013 following a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.E. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.  His Ph.D. focused experimental methods and analytical solutions used to determine elastic-plastic properties of sub-micron thin films via indentation testing of microfabricated structures.  He is currently a Principal Scientist in the ExSiTE group focusing on development of novel optical based non-contact non-destructive thermal characterization tools.  His further interests lie in bridging the divide between neighboring disciplines by incorporating external fields, namely external heat sources, electrical bias, and a variety of reactive atmospheres, during property measurements. John is a co-director of the ExSiTE Lab.

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Senior Scientist

Ashutosh (Ash) Giri, Ph.D.

ag4ar[at]virginia[dot]edu

Ashutosh (Ash) received his B.S degree in Physics from Adelphi University in 2010 and his M.S degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Pittsburgh in 2012. For his Masters, he studied the mechanical behavior of nanoporous metals through atomistic modeling as member of the Computational Nanomechanics group at University of Pittsburgh.  In 2016, he received his Ph.D. at UVA in the ExSiTE Lab, focusing on experimental and computational studies of electron and phonon thermal transport and coupling in thin films and hybrid multilayers.  He is currently a Senior Scientist in the ExSiTE group.

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Postdoctoral  Associate

Yee Rui Koh, Ph.D.

yk8mv[at]virginia[dot]edu

Yee Rui received his M. S. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University following his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Technology, Malaysia. He has a wide range of research interest across various disciplines, include characterization of the thermal, electrical and thermoelectric properties of the materials. He also involved in the theoretical analysis of the design of the thermoelectric device, both cooler, and generator during his Ph.D. program. Yee Rui is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate in ExSITE group.  

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GRADUATE STUDENTS

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Ph.D. student

Mallory E. DeCoster

med7fk[at]virginia[dot]edu

Mallory E. DeCoster received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Denver (Denver, CO), and an M.S. in Remote Sensing Intelligence from the Naval Postgraduate School (Monterey, CA). After her masters, she worked in the intelligence community within the department of defense in the development and application of remote sensing tools to the warfighter. She is now an associate at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physical Lab where she specializes in spectroscopy and remote sensing. She is also currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at U.Va. researching nanoscale thermal transport processes in superlattices.

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Ph.D. Student

Ethan Scott

eas2qf[at]virginia[dot]edu

Ethan received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2015. As an undergraduate, he researched at CVeSS Labs at Virginia Tech, the Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA) in Boulder, and also UVa’s Polarized Target Group in the Department of Physics. His prior research focused on energy harvesting, ultrafast laser metrologies, and the physics of radiation damage and dynamic nuclear polarization. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

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Ph.D. Student

John Tomko

jat6rs[at]virginia[dot]edu

John received his B.S. in Physics from Rutgers University in 2016. His undergraduate research focused on studying laser-material interactions and mechanisms of high-energy laser ablation. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the department of Materials Science and Engineering at U.Va.

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Ph.D. Student

David (Hans) Olson

dho8rd[at]virginia[dot]edu

Hans received his B.S. degree in Physics at James Madison University in 2016. Under the guidance of Dr. Costel Constantin, he spent two years of his undergraduate career studying the thermoelectric properties of manganese oxide in powder and thin film forms. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student at the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UVa. Hans is a recipient of the Virginia Commonwealth Fellowship, the VSGC Graduate STEM Research Fellowship, and the NDSEG Graduate Fellowship.

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Ph.D. student

Mars Aryana

ka8bd[at]virginia[dot]edu

Kiumars (Mars) received his B.S degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Birjand in 2015 and his M.S degree from Miami University in 2018. For his masters, his focus was on the self-assembly of multi-element colloidal particles using Molecular Dynamics simulations and computationally investigated their acoustic and optical properties. He joined the ExSiTE lab in 2018 as a Ph.D. student and is currently working on the thermal transport in phase change non-volatile memory devices as a part of a joint project between UVA and Western Digital.

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Ph.D. student

Shafkat Bin Hoque

mh5yw[at]virginia[dot]edu

Shafkat received his B.S. degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and his M.S. degree from Auburn University. His research background is in experimental micro and nano-scale heat transfer. He joined UVA from fall 2018 as a Ph.D. student and is working on high temperature thermal conductivity measurements. 

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Ph.D. student

Drew Kelliher

apk5vv[at]virginia[dot]edu

Drew received a B.S. in Materials Science from North Carolina State University in 2017. He is pursuing his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at U.Va. researching ultrafast heat transport processes and plasmon scattering in nanostructures and at their interfaces.

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Ph.D. student

Thomas Pfeifer

twp4fg[at]virginia[dot]edu

Thomas Pfeifer received a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he studied polymer processing, composites, and additive manufacturing. Following his masters, he joined industry for three years in software development. Thomas is now pursuing his Ph.D., studying the thermal and electrical properties of semiconductors.

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Ph.D. student

Emma Tiernan

emt3uq[at]virginia[dot]edu

Emma received a B.S. in Engineering Physics and Chemistry from Randolph-Macon College in 2019. As an undergraduate, she worked under Dr. John D. Thoburn researching the synthesis of enlarged supramolecular cubes for the encapsulation of nanocrystals. She joined the ExSiTE lab in the fall of 2019 as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Currently, she is studying thermal transport mechanisms in organic superlattices and proteins. Emma is a recipient of the Dean’s Scholar Fellowship.

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Ph.D. student

Kate Tomko

kfq4hb[at]virginia[dot]edu

Kate received her M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, where she studied atmospheric degradation of noble and light metal alloys in harsh environmental conditions through field and accelerated cyclic testing. Her previous engineering research involved microbiologically-induced corrosion of steel via sulfate-reducing bacteria, satisfying concurrent bachelor’s degrees in Molecular Cell Biology and Chemistry. Kate is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at U.Va., researching thermal properties and laser-induced damage mechanisms in extreme environment and high entropy materials.

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PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS

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The ExSiTE Lab is searching for our next group of talented, motivated, and energetic engineers and scientists. We generally hire 2-4 graduate students a year in addition to post-docs on an as needed basis. Interested parties should have experience with research, a strong academic background in physics, materials science, and/or mechanical engineering, with additional knowledge of either electrical engineering or computer science a plus, and be capable of handling a high intensity learning and research environment. Please send a CV and a brief introduction via email to ExsiteLabRecruiting[at]virginia[dot]edu. Please make your introduction both concise and clear that you have an understanding and interest in our research field. Prospective graduate students with a Masters degree or about to complete a Masters degree should note this in their introduction.

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PAST MEMBERS AND ALUMNI

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Jeffrey Braun (Ph.D., 2019) – Northrop Grumman Corporation
Christina Rost (Postdoc: 2016 – 2019) – Assistant Professor at James Madison University
Ellie Radue, Ph.D. (Postdoc: 2016 – 2018) – FiberTek Inc.
Chester Szwejkowski (M.S., 2018) – Surface Optics Corporation
Sofie Ravesteijn (Undergraduate Research Assistant: 2015 – 2017) – Northrop Grumman Corporation
Brian M. Foley, Ph.D. (Ph.D., 2016) – Assistant Professor at The Pennsylvania State University
Brian Donovan, Ph.D. (Ph.D., 2016) – Assistant Professor at United States Naval Academy
Ramez Cheaito, Ph.D. (Ph.D., 2015, Postdoc: 2015 – 2016) – Gooch and Housego
Lei Wang, Ph.D. (Postdoc: 2015 – 2016) – Morgan Stanley
Ashutosh Giri, Ph.D. (Ph.D., 2016) – Senior Scientist at the University of Virginia
Kelsey Meyer (M.S., 2016)
Matt Caplan (Undergraduate Research Assistant: 2013) – Assistant Professor at Illinois State University
Caitlin Crawford (Undergraduate Research Assistant: 2014 – 2015) – Ph.D. Student at Colorado School of Mines
Bryce H. Crane (REU Student: Summer 2012; Undergraduate Research Assistant: Summer 2013) – Leonardo S.p.A.
John C. Duda, Ph.D. (Postdoc: 2012 – 2013) – Seagate Technology
Caroline Gorham (Graduate Student: 2012-2013) – Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University
Nan “Vinnie” Chen (High School Intern: Summer 2013) – Research Assistant at Harvard University
Dave Henry (Summer Research Associate: Summer 2013) – Assistant Principal

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