Education:

  • Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of California Berkeley, 2013
  • M.S. Nuclear Engineering, The Ohio State University, 2008
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, 2007

Research Areas and Descriptors:

Heat Transfer, Combustion and Energy Systems: Direct energy conversion, thermoelectrics, thermal energy conversion, and thermal conductivity in amorphous materials (polymers).

Micro and Nano Engineering: Electrical and thermal transport in nanomaterials, and microscale energy harvesting.

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering: Nuclear batteries, applied nuclear physics, and transmutation.

Background:

Shannon Yee will begin at Georgia Tech in the fall of 2013.  Prior, in 2010, he was the first fellow to the Dept. of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) assisting to form the agency in its inaugural year.  In 2008 he was awarded the prestigious Hertz Fellowship to support his research in energy.  In 2007 he was a Dept. of Energy Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative Fellow. He has also spent substantial time within the National Laboratory system.   

Research:

Dr. Yee’s research focuses on translating new fundamental scientific discoveries into applied energy conversion technologies.  By understanding how heat and energy flow through materials, energy conversion mechanisms and processes can be integrated into functional devices.  These devices include thermoelectric generators, solid-state coolers, pyroelectric converters, alpha- and beta-voltaics, multi-ferroic and -caloric systems, and photovoltaics.  The ultimate goal of his research is to take fundamental scientific principles, apply them to interesting materials, leverage unique manufacturing strengths, and produce low-cost, scalable, energy conversion technologies.

En route to this goal, Dr. Yee is keenly interested in better understanding thermal transport in amorphous and disordered materials.  In crystalline solids, heat is carried by lattice vibrations known as phonons.  In amorphous materials, heat is also carried by vibrations but without the aid of long-range crystalline order.  Through better understanding of transport in amorphous and disordered materials, it is possible to develop highly thermally conductive polymers or glasses as well as low thermally conductive metals or semiconductors. 

In the near future, Dr. Yee plans to develop polymer thermoelectrics where the low cost of conducting polymers can be leveraged to make scalable thermoelectric generators.  This work is inherently interdisciplinary involving backgrounds in synthetic chemistry, polymer physics, condensed matter physics, soft-material science, and materials characterization.

Also in the near future, Dr. Yee plans to develop new measurement and characterization techniques to determine thermal transport properties of multilayer systems.   He is particularly interested in developing a scanning laser based, non-contact, thermal reflectance technique.  Using this technique, the thermal transport properties of thin multilayers can be determined with applications in energy technologies such as batteries, photovoltaics, supercapacitors, and power electronics.

Ultimately, Dr. Yee hopes to impact the world by creating new energy technologies and training the next generation of energy technologists and educators.  To do this, he mentors students at the intersection of technology, policy, and business where they will be prepared for careers in government as technology policists, in start-ups as technical executives, and in academia as professors.