Austin Minnich, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
California Institute of Technology
Austin Minnich is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He received his Bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley in Engineering Science in 2006, followed by a Masters and PhD from MIT in Mechanical Engineering in 2011. His thesis focused on creating new tools to measure the microscopic transport properties of phonons in crystals. In particular, he developed a technique that enables the first direct measurements of phonon mean free paths in solids.
After receiving his PhD, Prof Minnich started his position at Caltech in Fall 2011. His group now consists of 7 students and 2 postdocs. The group's research is centered around exploring nanoscale heat transfer by phonons, electrons, and photons using novel experimental and computational methods, with a particular focus on optical methods. In the EFRC, Prof. Minnich's research investigates how nanophotonics may be used to control thermal radiation for solar thermal energy conversion. Prof. Minnich has been recognized for his work with a 2013 NSF CAREER Award.