Our Group

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor

Damena Agonafer is an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department at Washington University. He is a faculty adviser at the Institute of Materials Science and Engineering and member of the Center for Solar Energy and Energy Storage. As a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois, Professor Agonafer was the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan fellowship award. In 2012, Damena joined Professor Ken Goodson’s Nanoheat lab as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the …

Postdoctoral Researchers

Graduate Students

PhD Student

PhD Student

Melissa McCann is a first year PhD student at Washington University in St. Louis pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She graduated from WashU in December 2019 with an MS degree in Materials Science and Engineering where she was subsequently awarded the Dean's Select Fellowship to continue her doctoral studies. Her master's thesis focused on combining organic and metallic phase change materials (PCMs) for niche applications in transient thermal systems. The solid-liquid phase change …

Graduate Research Assistant

Undergraduate Students



After graduating in Physics and Mathematics from Augustana University, Sioux Falls, SD, Abel Solomon joined Washington University in St. Louis School of Engineering & Applied Science through the Dual Degree Program in August 2018 where he is currently pursuing a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MS degree in Aerospace Engineering.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Binjian Ma is a postdoctoral research scholar at Washington University in St. Louis. He graduated with BS in Mechanical Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University. His PhD work focused developing high temperature molten salt nanofluid for enhanced thermal energy storage and heat transfer fluid in concentrated solar power plants.  He has diverse experience in heat transfer experimentation, material and thermal …
DeVaughn Rucker is an undergraduate student at Washington University in St Louis who helped set up for the NSF workshop.
Haotian Wu, due to preference to physics and chemistry, has achieved his bachelor’s degree in major of MSE at Central South University, and continue to pursue his master’s degree in MEMS at Washington University in St.Louis. His research focus on the design and performance of semiconductor heterostructure photocatalysis materials, and metal composites for electrical packaging. He also has two experience of internships, one is in Chinese Academy of Science for designing the water purifier by …

Research Assistant

Joshua is a fifth year student studying Mechanical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. His area of research focuses on analyzing photos from the contact angle experiment and updating information in the lab and on the lab website.


Runzhi Zhang is pursuing an MS degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Washington University. He graduated from Sichuan University in which his major is in Polymer Engineering. His area of research mainly focuses on analyzing droplets evaporation behavior on micropillar arrays.

Ph. D. student

Li Shan is a PhD student at Washington University pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He graduated from Hohai University where he majored in Mechanical Engineering. His current research focuses on ion transporting through graphene defects. His goal is to simulate the ion transport through different interfaces.

Graduate Researcher

Growing up in University City, MO, Adam Mizes was sure of two things about his future. First, he was not going to follow his father and grandfather into a career working with chemicals. Second, he was not going to follow his mother and grandmother to get a degree at Washington University. After receiving a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri and working for Elantas PDG in St. Louis, MO for 3 years, he started his PhD at Washington University in Materials Science, …