Principal Investigator

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Deyu Li

deyu.li@vanderbilt.edu

Deyu Li is an associate professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt. He received his B.E. in Engineering Thermophysics from the University of Science and Technology of China (1992), M.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Tsinghua University, China (1997) and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley (2002), respectively. He worked as a post-doctoral research associate at UC Berkeley in 2003. He joined the faculty of Vanderbilt Mechanical Engineering as an assistant professor in January, 2004. In fall 2010, he got promoted to be an associate professor.

Dr. Li's research interest includes Micro/Nano scale energy and molecular transport phenomena, Micro/Nanofabrication techniques, Molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo Simulation, and Micro/Nanofluidics. He has 46 refereed journal publications in well-respected journals such as Nature Nanotechnology, Nano Letters, Physical Review Letters, Applied Physics Letters, Small, Lab-on-a-chip, Analytical Chemistry, and Journal of Heat Transfer. His journal publications have been cited for more than 2400 times, with 9 publications each cited over 100 times. He is recipient of National Science Foundation Career Award in 2007.

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Postdoc

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Virginia Pensabene

virginia.pensabene@vanderbilt.edu

 

In 2005 Virginia Pensabene got her Laurea degree (equivalent to B.S. + M.S.) in Biomedical Electronic Engineering from the University of Pisa (Italy) and then got her Ph.D. in Humanoid Technologies from Universit¨¤ di Genova, Genova, Italy in 2009. After graduation, she worked as a PostDoc at the Center for MicroBiorobotics of the Italian Institute of Technology from 2009 to 2011. On August 2011, she camed to Vanderbilt as a Post Doctoral Research Associate. Her research interests cover ultrathin films, micro and nano fabrication.

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Graduate Student

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Scott W. Waltermire

scott.waltermire@vanderbilt.edu

 

Scott W. Waltermire got his B.S. in General Engineering from United States Naval Academy and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School. He is currently the technical director of the Test Technology Branch at Arnold Engineering Development Center. He joined MNTFL at Vanderbilt as a part-time Ph.D. student in 2005. His current research is on Thermal Transport through Nanoscale Materials.

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Bryson Brewer

bryson.brewer@vanderbilt.edu

 

Bryson Brewer received his B.S. in Physics from the University of Southern Mississippi in May 2010. He joined MNTFL as a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt the following Fall. He is interested in microfluidic technologies. Bryson is a recipient of NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a former college basketball player for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. He also enjoys golf, intramural sports, weightlifting, and playing guitar.

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Qian Zhang

qian.zhang.1@vanderbilt.edu

 

Qian Zhang was born in Mengcheng, Anhui Province, Central China. He graduated from University of Science and Technology of China(USTC) with B.E.(June, 2011) in Thermal Science & Energy Engineering. He joined MNTFL as a Ph.D. Student in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt in fall, 2011. His research interests include Micro/Nanoscale Heat Transport and related engineering area. He likes watching movies, working out and music.

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Lijie Yang

lijie.yang@vanderbilt.edu

 

Lijie Yang got her B.E.(2009) and M.E.(2012) in Thermal Energy Engineering from Harbin Engineering University, China. As a Ph.D. student, she joined MNTFL at Vanderbilt in the fall of 2012. Her research involves micro-fluidic devices for biomedical applications. She enjoys travel, music, playing badminton, yoga and creative writing. She also like cooking.

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Kirsten A. Heikkinen

kirsten.a.heikkinen@vanderbilt.edu

 

Kirsten Heikkinen received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Math from Lipscomb University in May 2012. She joined MNTFL as a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt in Fall 2012. While at Lipscomb, she played soccer for the Lady Bisons for four years serving as captain for two years. She enjoys the outdoors, travelling, and live music.

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Visiting Students

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Jian Ma

mj_majian@hotmail.com

 

Jian Ma came from School of Mechanical Engineering at Southeast University, China. He joined MNTFL as a visiting scholar from September, 2013. His research interests include fabrication of solid-state nanopores,  the use of nanopore technology in DNA sequencing and electrospinning nanofibre.

He enjoys tennis, movie and music in spare time.

 

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Undergraduate

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Alumni

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Dongyan Xu

dyxu@mae.cuhk.edu.hk

Dongyan Xu received her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 2008. Her PhD thesis is on development of ultra-sensitive fluidic sensors and molecular dynamics studies of ion and water distribution in nanochannels. After graduation, she worked as a postdoc in Prof. Arun Majumdar's group at University of California, Berkeley for two years. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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Saumitra K. Vajandar

saumitrav@gmail.com

Saumitra K. Vajandar completed his undergraduate in India with a major in Metallurgy. He joined MNTFL as one of Dr. Li's first students back in 2004 when the group was very much in its nascent stage. He graduated in Fall 2009 with a Ph.D. in Materials Science. His primary research was in the area of microfluidics where he developed micropumps from different materials. Most of his time during this work was spent in clean rooms on device fabrication, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He is currently a postdoc at Fisk University. Other than spending time in the clean room, he enjoys playing tennis, watching football...the American version and listening to music.
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Min Chen

chenmindudu@gmail.com

 

Came from School of Mechanical Engineering at Southeast University, China, Min Chen studied in MNTFL at Vanderbilt as a visiting student from Septermber, 2008 to September, 2010. His research interest includes nano- scale electrokinetic phenomena; micro- and nano- scale phase change phenomena; parallel molecular dynamics simulation methods. In his spare time, he likes playing soccer.

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Jiashu Sun

sunjs@nanoctr.cn

Jiashu Sun received her B.S. degree in materials science from Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China, in 2006. She joined MNTFL at Vanderbilt as a Ph.D. student in fall 2006 and graduated with a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering in December 2010. Her research field is microfluidics with projects such as characterization of electric current leakage through thin PDMS structures and development of novel resistive pulse-sensing techniques to measure cell-volume growth rate and characterize cell separation performance. Jiashu is now an associate professor at National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China.

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Yanyan Ge

yanyange@hotmail.com

Came from the School of Mechanical Engineering at Southeast University, China, Yanyan Ge studied in MNTFL at Vanderbilt as a visiting student from September, 2009 to August, 2011. Her research interest includes Nanoscale molecular transport phenomena, Molecular dynamics, Nanofluidics and microfabrication techniques.
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Juekuan Yang

yangjk@seu.edu.cn

 

Juekuan Yang received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Southeast University (2004), China. He worked at MNTFL as a postdoc research associate from March 2008 to October 2011. His research activity at MNTFL included contact thermal resistance measurement between individual nanostructures, and thermoelectric properties investigation of Boron-based one-dimensional nanostructures. He is currently an associate professor in the department of Mechanical Engineering at Southeast University, China.

 

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Yandong Gao

ydgao@ucdavis.edu

Yandong Gao graduated with B.E. (1999) and M.E. (2002) degrees from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China, respectively. He joined MNTFL as a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt in fall 2006 and graduated in fall 2011. His research at MNTFL focused on developing microfludic cell culture platform for neuronal and cancer biology studies. Yandong is now a postdoc associate at UC Davis.

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Yang Yang

yang.yang@vanderbilt.edu

Yang Yang obtained his B.E. in Materials Science&Engineering (2004) and M.E. in Materials Processing Engineering (2007) from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, respectively. After working at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), he joined MNTFL at Vanderbilt as a Ph.D. student of Mechanical Engineering in fall 2008 and earned his doctor's degree in summer 2013. His research at MNTFL focused on thermal transport through individual nanostructures and their contacts. Yang is now working at Seagate Technology as a Senior Engineer..
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Kyle G. Otte

kyle.g.otte@vanderbilt.edu

Born in Huntsville, Alabama, Kyle received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University in the fall of 2011. He joined MNTFL in Mechanical Enginnering at Vanderbilt in the spring of 2012 and graduated with a master's degree in summer 2013. His research interests are focused on Nanoscale Heat Transport and other related engineering areas. His hobbies include backpacking, mountain biking, sports, travel, and weightlifting.
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