Rama Venkatasubramanian, Ph.D.
Dr. Rama Venkatasubramanian obtained his Ph.D. from Rensselaer (Troy, New York) in 1988 and his B.S. in 1983 from the Indian Institute of Technology (Madras, India), all in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Venkatasubramanian is currently the Senior Research Director of the Center for Solid State Energetics Research (CSSE) at RTI International, where he directs innovative fundamental and applied research in thermoelectrics, photovoltaics, optoelectronics and metamaterials for novel and advanced solid state energy conversion materials and devices. Dr. Venkatasubramanian is the Founder of Nextreme Thermal Solutions, an RTI spin-off that is commercializing thin-film thermoelectric technology developed over a decade under his leadership and with DARPA funding. He has over 115 peer-reviewed publications and 100 presentations in the area of thermoelectric materials and devices, photovoltaic materials and devices, optoelectronic materials, and other solid-state devices, as well as chapters for two books on thermoelectrics, Semiconductors and Semimetals – Recent Trends in Thermoelectrics, published by the Academic Press and Thermoelectrics- Micro to Nano, published by the CRC Press. Dr. Venkatasubramanian has 13 patents issued in thermoelectrics, thermal management and related technologies. At RTI, Dr. Venkatasubramanian initiated and developed a research program in Thermoelectric Materials and Devices and has focused on demonstrating the fundamental advantages of atomically engineered superlattices and other nanoscale materials; this research effort has resulted in the first major breakthrough (in 2001) in the field of thermoelectrics in 40 years; this result has led to tens of research laboratories around the world working on other nanoscale materials to improve ZT through thermal conductivity reduction. His current focus is to transition the superlattice thermoelectric materials as well as other novel bulk nano materials to viable and critical device technologies for advanced cooling systems, electronics thermal management, and thermal-to-electric power generation systems. Under Dr. Venkatasubramanian’s direction and technical leadership, the RTI thermoelectrics program has published in Nature (2001), Nature Nanotechnology (2009), nominated for DARPA Sustained Excellence Award and won several awards including the R&D 100 Award (2002). He has won Margaret Knox Excellence Award at RTI (2002), Rensselaer’s Allen B. Dumont Prize for academic and research achievements (1989) and the National Science Talent Search Scholar from the Govt. of India (1978-83). He currently serves on the Technical Advisory Boards of Nextreme and Wakonda Technologies.
Lon E. Bell, Ph.D.
In 1967 Dr. Bell founded Technar, a manufacturer of automotive components, and directed its growth from start-up to $120 million in sales in 1991. Technar's primary product, crash sensors for air bag systems, captured over 50% of the world market.
In 1991, Dr. Bell founded Amerigon Incorporated, directing the development and design of cooling and solid state heating components and electric vehicle technology. Currently he serves as the President of BSST LLC (a subsidiary of Amerigon Incorporated), which he formed in 1999 to develop advanced thermoelectric systems. BSST has developed and demonstrated the highest system efficiency achieved with thermoelectric technology to date.
He has authored more than 20 publications in the areas of thermodynamics of thermoelectric systems, automotive crash sensors, and other electronic and electromechanical devices. Five of his inventions have gone into mass production, and dominated their target markets.
Ralph K. Cavin, III
A native of Natchez Mississippi, Dr. Cavin received his BSEE (1961) and MSEE (1962) from Mississippi State University and his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University in 1968. From 1962-1965, served as a Senior Engineer at the Martin-Marietta Company in Orlando, Florida. At Martin, Dr. Cavin was involved in the design and manufacture of missile guidance and control systems.
After taking his Ph.D., Dr. Cavin joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Texas A & M University where he became a Full Professor and also served the department as Assistant Head for Research. In 1983, he joined the Semiconductor Research Corporation and served as the Director of Design Sciences Research Programs until 1989. He became Head of The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University from 1989 - 1994 and was Dean of Engineering at North Carolina State University from 1994 - 1995. He is currently Vice President for Research Operations at the Semiconductor Research Corporation.
Dr. Cavin's technical interests span VLSI circuit and system design, computer-aided design of microelectronic systems, control theory with applications to semiconductor manufacturing, and applications of computing and telecommunications to engineering education. He has authored or co-authored over 100 refereed technical papers and contributions to books. Dr. Cavin is a Life Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and has participated actively in society programs. He has served as a consultant to a number of government, industrial, and academic institutions and is a member of the Board of Directors and a Fellow of the International Engineering Consortium, a member of the IEEE Computer Advisory Board and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Institute of Microelectronics in Singapore.
Mildred S. Dresselhaus
Mildred Dresselhaus was born and grew up in New York City. She received her undergraduate education at Hunter College in New York City. After a year of study at Cambridge University and another year at Harvard University, she completed her Ph.D. degree at the University of Chicago, with her Ph.D. thesis in 1958 on the subject of microwave properties of superconductors in a magnetic field. Following her doctoral studies, Dr. Dresselhaus spent 2 years at Cornell University as an NSF postdoctoral fellow, and then 7 years as a sta. member of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory in the Solid State Physics Division. She joined the MIT faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1967 and the Department of Physics in 1983, and was named an Institute Professor in 1985. She served as the Director of the Office of Science at the US Department of Energy in 2000-2001. She is currently the Chair of the Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, the IEEE, the Materials Research Society, the Society of Women Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and American Carbon Society. Dr. Dresselhaus has served as President of the American Physical Society, Treasurer of the National Academy of Sciences, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and on numerous advisory committees and councils. Dr. Dresselhaus has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science and 21 honorary doctorates. She is the co-author of four books on carbon science. Her research has covered a wide range of problems in the physics of solids with special attention to nanoscience, and carbon-based and other nanostructures of particular relevance to energy-related applications. For relaxation, she is an enthusiastic chamber music player, where she plays either violin or viola, and enjoys spending time with her husband, four children and four grandchildren.
Dr. M. Michael Yovanovich
Prof. M. Michael Yovanovich is Distinguished Prof. Emeritus at the University of Waterloo, Adjunct Prof. of mechanical engineering and is the founder and Principal Scientific Advisor to the Microelectronics Heat Transfer Laboratory at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario. Dr. Yovanovich has been on the faculty at the University of Waterloo since 1969 after spending two years as an Associate Prof. at the E.N.S.M.A., Poitiers, France. He has also served on the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (1976) and the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA (1980). Dr. Yovanovich's research interests are in conduction; thermal properties of composite materials; thermal contact, gap and joint resistances for conforming rough surfaces; spreading-constriction and gap resistances for non-conforming rough surfaces; elastic and inelastic contact mechanics, surface microhardness, and development of approximate analytical
thermofluid models for combined conduction and forced and natural convection heat transfer at the device, package, printed circuit board levels as well as other applications to electronics cooling. Prof. Yovanovich has authored or co-authored over 170 archive journal papers, over 130 conference papers and 10 chapters in books. He was Technical Editor of ASME Journal of Heat Transfer (1984-86) and Associate Technical Editor of ASME Journal of Electronic Packaging (1988-90). Dr. Yovanovich was also a Member of the Editorial Board for Advances in Transport Processes (1980), and Advisory Editor of the International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow (1985-87). Currently, he is an Advisory Editor for the Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer. Among Prof. Yovanovich's many honors are the 1984 AIAA Thermophysics Award For his sustained and significant contributions to the advancement in the fundamentals of Thermal Contact Resistance Theory; the 2003 SEMI-THERM THERMI Significant Contributor Award
For his significant contributions to the field of semiconductor thermal management; the 2003 ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award For developing theoretical models and mathematical methods to advance the understanding of thermal contact resistance, forced and natural convection, and microelectronics cooling, and three best paper awards from AIAA and IEEE. He was awarded the 1995 Distinguished Teacher Award from the University of Waterloo. Prof. Yovanovich is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).