Mathieu Francoeur is the latest faculty member to join the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah.  Francoeur—who joins the faculty as an assistant professor—recently finished  his doctor of philosophy  in mechanical engineering at the University of Kentucky where he researched near-field radiative transfer and its applications to thermal radiation, thermophotovoltaic power generation, and optical characterization of nanoparticles.

“I decided to join the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah because of the wonderful nanofabrication facilities, the great collaborative atmosphere on campus, and the positive things being done at the university in the area of sustainable energy,” said Francoeur.   “I am also looking forward to seeing as much movies as possible during the Sundance Film Festival and starting up skiing again.”

Francoeur’s primary objective for the next few years is to develop a technology to recuperate heat losses in electronic devices, such as photovoltaic (PV) cells, by using nanoscale-gap thermophotovoltaic (nano-TPV) power generators.

“The development of highly efficient nano-TPV systems presents many technical challenges,” said Francoeur.  “I intend to address these challenges in the next few years and then apply my work to other devices such as computers and cell phones.”

Francoeur will be teaching advanced radiation heat transfer (ME EN 7670) and will be developing a graduate course on nanoscale heat transport.

Before completing his doctor of philosophy, Francoeur received a bachelor of engineering and a master of science degree from the Universite Laval in Quebec City.  He was also awarded the JQSRT Young Scientist Award in 2009.