Zheng Selected as NASA Glenn Faculty Fellow
Yi Zheng, an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, leads a growing research group featuring Nano Energy from multiple disciplines in materials science, physics, and engineering at Northeastern University. He emphasizes the basic and applied study of small-scale thermal transport through multifunctional materials with advanced thermal, optical, electromagnetic properties, super-hydrophobicity, self-adaptivity, high-temperature resistance, and fire-retardant features. These materials can be applied in the areas of power generation, energy harvesting, thermophotovoltaics, passive radiative cooling, solar desalination, thermo rectification, and nanoscale opto-thermal and bio-chemical sensing. Recently, Zheng’s research focus is on transforming multifunctional nanomaterials to adapt sensing and power applications for harsh environments, e.g., on surfaces of Mars and Venus.
As a NASA Glenn Faculty Fellow, he would perform the sensor research towards developing minimally intrusive, multifunctional, miniaturized smart sensors including microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and MEMS type structures for use in harsh environments. The research will focus on the measurement of such parameters as surface and gas temperature, pressure, chemical species, gas flow, and heat flux for Venus applications and with relevance for aero propulsion systems. The resulting sensors will be reliable for long-term operation in harsh environments, including on the Venus surface for extended durations, and in conjunction with high-temperature wireless systems for other applications.