Progessing Thermal Metrology at Georgia Tech

In order to maintain prominence on campus, the Georgia Tech Heat Lab is undergoing a series of improvements starting in Fall 2018. These improvements will broadly improve equipment access and training, technical knowledge dissemination, community diversity, and organizational sustainability.

Sampath Kommandur and Shawn Gregory are leading these improvements. In the upcoming weeks, additional information will be provided and feedback will be solicited.

Precursory improvements include, but are not limited to:

  • Procuring new equipment
  • Developing new systems for user equipment access and training
  • Incorporating undergraduates and graduate communities
  • Broadening and engaging the Heat Lab community for sustainable growth and development
  • Being referenced in and disseminating state of the art research
  • Developing student technical skill sets
  • Reaching out to industry-sponsored projects


If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact us at:

Heat Lab welcomes Courtney Aiken

Courtney Aiken received her B.S. in Sociology from Florida State University and her M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University where she was previously employed since 2011. A native of Apopka, Florida, Courtney has a passion for advocating for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and empowering minority students to take advantage of all opportunities available. She seeks to improve graduation and retention rates while mentoring and assisting students who need guidance achieving their academic goals.

As a Higher Educational professional, Courtney has provided training, support and direction to underrepresented students pursuing STEM and biomedical research careers through coordinating various NIH research training fellowships, such as MARC U*STAR and MBRS RISE.  She has also lead in the success of various conferences, symposiums, and programs that were key in enhancing students’ leadership skills as well as supporting their academic success, professional development and research experiences.

Pictured: Heat Lab Faculty Support Coordinator, Courtney Aiken

Currently, Courtney is a Faculty Support Coordinator supporting the Heat Lab Research group with budget administration, outreach and community engagement, and sponsor/client management. She also manages the coordination of Thermal Science Seminars and various event-planning efforts, such as workshops, poster-sessions, and expos. She looks forward to working closely with students and collaborating with various offices on campus, such as the Center for Engineering Education and Diversity (CEED) or the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) to facilitate heat lab tours and/or demonstrations for students who are visiting during spring break, special events, summer programs, and/or workshops.

Heat Lab hosts Building Envelope Innovation Workshop

On Thursday, March 2, 2017 the Heat Lab hosted the DOE Building Technologies Office (DOE-BTO) workshop at Georgia Institute of Technology. With the support of the Strategic Energy Institute, the workshop took place at the Global Learning Center in Atlanta, GA. There were 53 attendees who came from near and far to participate in the workshop; representatives included Dow, ARPA-E, Huber, Navigant, Iowa State University, UC Berkeley, Virginia Tech, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Purdue University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Department of Energy (DOE), National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and Pacific Northwest National Lab.

Pictured: The DOE Building Technologies Office Workshop hosted at Georgia Tech

The overall purpose of the workshop was to engage participants in a discussion of the key R&D technologies and processes that have the potential to reduce barriers to greater market penetration of high-efficiency building envelope technologies. We also wanted to gather a prioritized list of potential R&D initiatives (unique R&D activities or technology suggestions) that can aid Building Technologies Office (BTO) in achieving their goals and that industry stakeholders believe will reduce barriers to greater adoption of these highly efficient technologies

Pictured: Roderick Jackson of Oak Ridge National Lab presents at the DOE-BTO workshop

Representing the DOE, Sven Mumme provided the welcome and introduction for all those in attendance and Roderick Jackson of ORNL  gave the Plenary Session talk addressing the “Big Challenge in Building Envelopes”. There were several other topics discussed, such as “Ultra low Conductivity Materials”, “Nanoscience Applications”, “Multifunctional Materials and Systems” and “Nanoscience Applications – Thermal and Separations”. Immediately following, the attendees were separated into different rooms for various break out sessions with the theme of “Bridging Science to Application in Buildings Breakout Sessions” and “Applications in New and Existing Construction”. The goal was to identify new ideas and technologies, key challenges, and critical knowledge gaps related to building envelope technologies as well as define the necessary initiatives to overcome barriers to development and adoption of high-efficiency building envelope technologies.


Heat Lab welcomes Brian Foley

The Heat Lab would like to welcome its newest member, Brian Foley. Brian received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2016 where his focus was on the use of thermoreflectance-based metrology techniques to investigate phonon transport in a variety of material systems.  Prior to his PhD, he worked for two and a half years at Virginia Diodes, Inc. making vector network analyzer (VNA) extension modules for calibrated S-parameter measurements from 75-1100GHz of various electrical devices and materials.  Brian also has a background in electrical engineering having received M.S. and B.E. degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2009 and 2007, respectively. See more about Brian’s publications here.

Pictured: Post-doctoral fellow Brian Foley

Currently, Brian is a Post Doctoral Fellow working with the Heat Lab and The Electronics Manufacturing and Reliability Lab. He is focusing on developing new photothermal and electrical characterization techniques to expand current capabilities.


Research Highlight: Henry group develops more accurate method to predict thermal conductivity

Vibrations of atoms in solids can be described by a summation of contributions from individual normal modes, which are called phonons. The transfer of heat in all condensed matter generally originates from the contributions of both electrons and phonons. However for non-electrically conductive materials, the atomic vibrations (phonons) dominate the heat conduction. Describing the theory of heat conduction in condensed matter based on the individual phonon contributions has been a topic of intense study for many years, and the most prevalent theory is that of the phonon gas model (PGM), which was proposed by Peierls in 1929. The reason it has become so prevalent is because it exhibits excellent agreement with experimental measurements of thermal conductivity for crystalline materials and nanostructures. However, when it comes to disordered solids, such as amorphous materials and random alloys, the applicability of the PGM becomes highly questionable. Another class of systems where the PGM has become problematic are interfaces between materials. Many modifications to the PGM model have been introduced over the last 60 years, but the core of the theory has remained unchanged in the sense that all vibrational modes are still treated as though they propagate and carry energy at a certain velocity like a gas particle – hence the name phonon gas model.

Pictured: ME Assistant Professor Asegun Henry and PhD students Kiarash Gordiz and Wei Lv

Over the last 3 years researchers in the Atomistic Simulation & Energy (ASE) research group, under the supervision of Prof. Asegun Henry have developed two new methods for understanding heat conduction in any material or at any interface involving phonons (e.g., a single formalism that can simultaneously treat ordered/crystalline and disordered solids or their interfaces). The key to the generality of the two methods is that they were derived completely independently of the prevalent paradigm, namely the PGM. The two methods attempt solve the basic problem of how to extract information from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and facilitate determination of which phonons/modes interact and contribute to thermal conductivity or thermal interface conductance. The key step forward in these methods is that they fully include temperature dependent anharmonicity and can treat any structure without the requirement of periodicity.

[Read more]


Heat Lab officially opens

Heat Lab Opens

Pictured: The Heat Lab’s newly renovated research lab in the Pettit Building

After renovating lab space in the Georgia Tech Institute of Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN), the Heat Lab is now OPEN FOR BUSINESS! The Heat Lab specializes in working with industry to provide thermal measurements, simulations, and solutions leveraging the broad experimental and theoretical expertise of heat transfer faculty at Georgia Tech. The Heat Lab is a collaboration of 25 faculty comprising 30 different thermal tool sets and over 100 affiliated graduate students. Check out the tools page for a list our current equipment, with a number of new tools coming online in the next few months. To learn more about our services please contact us at


Heat Lab Introduction

Welcome to the Heat Lab.  Thank you for visiting.  The Heat Lab will officially launch January of 2016.  In preparation for that rollout, please check out the following video…