Newswise — NORMAN – University of Oklahoma professor Jivtesh Garg recently won the prestigious National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program Award for his research on the design of advanced composite materials for thermal management and energy conversion.

Garg is an aerospace and mechanical engineering researcher in the Gallogly College of Engineering. His research aims to develop materials with more efficient heat dissipation, with applications in a wide array of industries.

“Increasing transistor density in electronics has led to increasing heat fluxes,” Garg explains. “By developing high thermal conductivity polymers and semiconductors, we can lower temperatures, which improves reliability and performance in an array of electronic technologies.”

The new materials also would be beneficial to the automotive and aerospace industries. Replacing metals with Garg’s polymers would enhance fuel efficiency due to their significantly lower weight.

Expanding a summer camp program for students from different high schools also is a part of Garg’s grant. Junior Science, Engineering Excellency and Diversity Program, or JrSEED, engages students in hands-on activities related to thermoelectricity, fuel cells, shape memory polymers and wind energy. Students also get to learn from industry professionals and participate in competitions.

“Seeing our young attendees’ enthusiasm toward science and technology fields is very rewarding,” says Garg. “I count the program a success if we are able to motivate more students to pursue careers in STEM.”

Garg has taught at OU since 2014. His research has been recently published in Annual Review of Heat Transfer, Applied Physics Letters and Nature Communications. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology – Chennai, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.