General Program Chairs:
Prof. Heejin Cho, Ph.D.
TVA Endowed Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering
Mississippi State University
Dr. Heejin Cho is currently TVA Associate Professor of Energy Systems and the Environment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU) and Associate Director of Institute for Clean Energy Technology (ICET) at MSU. His current research interests focus on analysis and modeling sustainable energy technologies for buildings and development optimal control algorithms for energy and environmental systems. Prior to joining MSU, Dr. Cho worked as a research engineer in the Energy and Environment Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA for three and half years. Dr. Cho has been PI or Co-PI at MSU and PNNL on multiple funded projects (> $16M) from US Department of Energy, US Department of Defense, US national laboratories and industries. He has over 90 scholarly publications in the field of energy and environmental systems. He serves as an advisory editor of Energy Reports (Elsevier) and a guest editor of Energies (MDPI) and ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology.
Prof. Nesrin Ozalp, Ph.D., ASME Fellow
Professor and Chair of Mechanical and Civil Engineering Department, Purdue University Northwest
Professor by Courtesy at School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University West Lafayette
Dr. Nesrin Ozalp is a Professor and Chair of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Purdue University Northwest, and a Full Professor by Courtesy at the School of Mechanical Engineering of Purdue University West Lafayette. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington’s Mechanical Engineering Department and her MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Dr. Ozalp specializes in the areas of designing novel solar reactors for emission-free generation of fuels. She is the Lead Principal Investigator of research projects totaling $5M+, the corresponding author of 110+ peer reviewed journal, book chapter, and conference papers, Co-PI of completed Phase I of Solar Carbon Black commercialization with Fraunhofer, supervised 25 graduate students’ theses. She has given 35 invited/keynote talks on her research at institutes including the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW, and others. She is an Associate Editor of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, Associate Editor of Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering, and the recipient of many research and teaching awards including the Outstanding Reviewer Award by the ASME Heat Transfer Division, and the College-Level Distinguished Teaching Award by the Texas A&M Association of Former Students. Dr. Ozalp is an ASME Fellow.
Technical Program Chairs:
Prof. Mike Wagner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Mike Wagner is an Assistant Professor at UW-Madison where he is principal investigator of the Energy Systems Operations Lab and affiliate of the Solar Energy Lab and Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium. His research includes thermal systems modeling, system design and operations optimization, and predictive performance analysis of energy generation and storage technologies. Prior to joining UW-Madison, he was a senior researcher and principal investigator for over 11 years in the Thermal Systems group at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado. Dr. Wagner is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (B.S., M.S.) and Colorado School of Mines (Ph.D.). He has over 50 scholarly publications and is a 2019 recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
Prof. Justin Lapp, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering
Director of Solar Thermal Energy Laboratory
University of Maine
Dr. Justin Lapp is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine, and director of the Solar Thermal Energy Laboratory. He is affiliate faculty of the Climate Change Institute and the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. He is a graduate of Rose Hulman Institute of Technology (B.S.), Clemson University (M.S.), and the University of Minnesota (Ph.D.), and has specialized in heat transfer and thermodynamic modeling for high temperature solar thermal energy systems. Justin has performed research on the topics of solar fuels reactors, particle receivers for concentrating solar power, and high temperature thermal storage.
Prof. Hamidreza Najafi, Ph.D.
Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Florida Institute of Technology
Dr. Hamidreza Najafi is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology. He conducts research and teaches courses in the areas of energy and thermal sciences. He is the Director of the Innovations in Sustainable Energy and Thermal Systems Lab (I.S.E.T.S) where his research is focused on designing and optimization of thermal/energy systems, renewable energy systems, energy efficiency and computational heat transfer. Dr. Najafi is serving as Florida Tech ASHRAE Students Branch Advisor, Students Activities Chair for ASHRAE Space Coast Section and a Guest Editor of MDPI Sustainability. Prior joining Florida Tech, Dr. Najafi worked as a lead engineer in Alabama Industrial Assessment Center (funded by U. S. Department of Energy), where he was focused on improving efficiency in industrial energy systems and conducted assessments for more than fifty manufacturing companies in AL, GA and MS.