ME graduate student among recipients of MRL PPG Assistantship

9/12/2022 MRL Communications

Siavash Khodakarami, a PhD student in Prof. Nenad Miljkovic's lab, was awarded a PPG Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) Graduate Research Assistantship.

Written by MRL Communications

Siavash KhodakaramiMechanical engineering doctoral student Siavash Khodakarami was one of five from Grainger Engineering to be awarded PPG Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) Graduate Research Assistantships to pursue cutting-edge research broadly related to the areas of interest to PPG.

MRL director Paul Braun notes that the assistantships are a valuable opportunity for outstanding graduate students. “We are grateful to be able to continue partnering with PPG on these graduate research fellowship programs, which provides top MRL graduate students with the ability to work on real-world problems with many opportunities for interaction with PPG,” he said.

Khodakarami studies under Professor Nenad Miljkovic in the Energy Transport Research Laboratory.

“My research focuses on two-phase heat transfer characterization on engineered surfaces via the collection of regular, high-speed, and infrared data along with data-driven modeling and deep learning-based computer vision techniques to capture and predict the dynamics of droplets and bubbles. My work focuses on developing novel cost-effective and reliable two-phase heat transfer characterization techniques and a better understanding of the surface heat transfer performance on engineered surfaces.”

“What really sets Siavash apart from his peers is his ability to independently conduct research in areas where my laboratory is not an expert in. His work on machine learning and machine vision was initiated by him. He has been successful in developing machine vision methods to study phase-change phenomena and quantify heat transfer from images only, which significantly simplifies experimental methods for two-phase flows. The PPG fellowship will enable him to continue his independent work and success as a PhD student. I look forward to seeing him become a leader in the field,” Miljkovic said.

PPG and the PPG Foundation aim to bring color and brightness to PPG communities around the world. By investing in educational opportunities, the company and foundation help grow today’s skilled workforce and develop tomorrow’s innovators in fields related to coatings and manufacturing. This student program supports the University of Illinois community with new thought leaders at the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL).

Visit the MRL website for more information on the other winners, which include Jiahui Li, Zhuang Xu, Jae Kim, and Kaijun Yin.

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This story was published September 12, 2022.