Renkun Chen

Renkun Chen

Associate Professor

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

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Research Focus

Thermoelectric materials and devices, micro and nano-scale heat transfer, phase change heat transfer, and nanoscalle energy conversion and storage.

Research Summary

Professor Chen is interested in the science and engineering of thermal energy. Thermal transport plays a very significant role in both energy production and consumption. The fundamental length scales related to transport of basic heat carriers, such as phonons and photons, generally fall in the range of 1-1000 nm. Chen is interested in exploiting fundamental heat transfer science and engineering at the micro and nano scale, and developing materials and devices for thermal energy conversion, storage and management. His research accomplishments at Berkeley include the development of thermoelectric material based on Si nanowires, the understanding of phonon transport physics at nanoscale, and the application of nanostructures for enhanced phased change heat transfer.


Renkun Chen joined the UCSD faculty in November 2009. Chen received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the UC, Berkeley in 2008, with a Ph.D. thesis on thermoelectric energy conversion and phase change heat transfer using nanostructures. Subsequently, Chen continued working at Berkeley as a post-doctoral fellow, where he experimentally investigated nanoscale phonon transport physics using advanced nanofabrication tools.