The Department of Mechanical Engineering is excited to announce that Ph.D. student, Mohammad Ghashami received a University of Utah Graduate Research Fellowship from the Graduate School. Advised by mechanical engineering associate professor Keunhan “Kay” Park, Ghashami is a member of the Utah Nano-Energy Laboratory.

A Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) is a one-year, non-renewable award of which full-time students working towards their Ph.D. qualify. Selection criteria is based on the quality and impact of the student’s research, as well as their achievements (published papers, conference presentations, etc.) and their potential for success; i.e., academic excellence (assessed by academic record and references.)

About receiving a GRF, Ghashami said, “I was thrilled to be selected to receive this prestigious award. It is a significant help in allowing me focus on my work during this, the last year of  my Ph.D. program.”

As a mechanical engineering undergraduate at the University of Tehran, Iran, Ghashami studied hybrid dry cooling towers and solar chimney to improve the overall efficiency of a thermal power plant. “Thinking of ways to improve the efficiency of our daily-used energy-based systems for my senior thesis,” said Ghashami, “triggered the idea of pursuing a graduate degree. In Iran the stiff competition motivated me to seek the best research opportunities in the world.”

“My search led me to Dr. Park’s multidisciplinary research on energy conversion, nanoscale heat transfer, and microfabrication. At the time, Dr. Park was in transition from the University of Rhode Island to the University of Utah. Realizing he was building a new strong research team at the U, the timing was perfect for me!”

Currently Ghashami’s work focuses on experimental investigation of near-field thermal radiation and its applications for energy conversion. Using this concept, he believes there is a great potential to recycle the waste heat to generate cheap and accessible electricity. Ghashami explains, “The total energy lost as heat in the U.S. in 2012, could supply seven years’ worth of power to the entire United Kingdom. This clearly shows the importance of finding new methods that enable us to recycle this wasted heat in our daily life. Near-field thermal radiation might be one of the newest and most promising concepts that opens up new possibilities for energy conversion.”

On a personal note, Ghashami loves playing sports, especially soccer, and enjoys Utah outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, and biking. In his spare time he is also very fond of Persian literature and poetry.