Nanoscale Transport Phenomena Laboratory

The Nanoscale Transport Phenomena Laboratory seeks to understand the transport of mass, momentum, and energy at the atomic level by studying the behavior of phonons, photons, electrons, and fluid particles. Our research is based in mechanical engineering and incorporates knowledge from physics, materials science, and chemistry. We develop and apply molecular- and meso-scale simulation techniques, and collaborate closely with experimental research groups.


Alan McGaughey

Alan McGaughey

Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Courtesy Appointment, Materials Science and Engineering

Alan McGaughey leads the Nanoscale Transport Phenomena Laboratory. He received a Bachelor of Engineering from McMaster University (1998), a Master of Applied Science from the University of Toronto (2000), and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan (2004). He came to Carnegie Mellon University in 2005. He won the Teare Teaching Award in 2014 and and has been voted Professor of the Year by the MechE seniors three times (2012, 2015, 2017).

Scaife Hall 414
Google Scholar
Alan McGaughey
Curriculum Vitae
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Research team

Henry Aller

Henry Aller


Jon Malen
Research interests
Analyzing the effect of interface reactions on metal/semiconductor thermal interface conductance; two-temperature model molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the effect of electron-phonon coupling on phonon populations near metal/semiconductor interfaces; analyzing the effect of surface treatment on oxide-oxide thermal interface conductance.
Hyun-Young Kim

Hyun-Young Kim


Research interests
Calculating phonon and thermal properties using lattice dynamics techniques; observing the effects of dimensionality changes on phonon properties
Jie Gong

Jie Gong


Research interests
Dielectric properties of the electrocaloric materials; molecular dynamics simulations of the vacancy facilitated stabilization of ZrO2
Holden Parks

Holden Parks


Venkat Viswanathan
Research interests
Density functional theory, uncertainty quantification, and van der Waals heterostructures
Xiaoman Wang

Xiaoman Wang


Jon Malen
Research interests
Micro/nanoscale heat and mass transfer; simulations for fluid during phase change
Shuyan Zhang

Shuyan Zhang


Reeja Jayan
Research interests
Molecular dynamics simulation with transition metal oxide, field effect in microwave assisted thin-film synthesis, electromagnetic finite element analysis


Current courses

Course Course Name Location Units Semester Offered
24-623 Molecular Simulation of Materials Pittsburgh 12 Intermittent, Spring
24-231 Fluid Mechanics Pittsburgh 10 Spring


For a list of Alan McGaughey’s publications, please visit his Google Scholar profile.

Former group members

Post-doctoral fellows

Hasan Babaei (2015-2018), co-advised with Chris Wilmer (University of Pittsburgh)
Haibin Chen (2009-2011)
Lin Hu (2011-2012)

Ph.D. students

Eric Landry (2009)
Joe Turney (2009), co-advised with Cristina Amon
John Thomas (2010)
Minyoung Lee (2011)
Jason Larkin (2013)
Wee Liat Ong (2014), co-advised with Jonathan Malen
Ankit Jain (2015)
Shubhaditya Majumdar (2016), co-advised with Jonathan Malen
Simon Lu (2016)
Ying-Ju Yu (2016)
Francisco Ramirez (2017)
Kevin Parrish (2017), co-advised with Jon Malen

Master’s students

Alex Massicotte (2013)
Matthew McIntosh (2015)
Caroline Gorham (2015)
Paarth Thapar (2016)
Sushant Kumar (2017)
Matt Bartnof (2019), co-advised with Jon Malen
Jinchen Han (2020)
Yang Li (2020)


Ryan Iutzi, University of Waterloo co-op student, 2009
Dan Sellan, University of Toronto Ph.D. student, 2009
Yusuke Masao, Kyoto University Ph.D. student, 2012
Sam Huberman, University of Toronto M.A.Sc. student, 2012
Kimmo Saaskilahti, Aalto University Ph.D. student, 2015
Cheng Shao, Shanghai Jiaotong University Ph.D. student, 2016-2017
I-Ling Chang, National Cheng Kung University Professor, 2017
Bo Fu, Xi'an Jiaotong University Ph.D. student, 2018-2019
Qi Liang, Xi'an Jiaotong University Ph.D. student, 2019.

Undergraduate researchers

Sarat Mikkilineni, 2006
Madhur Paharia, 2006-2007
Taka Matsuura, 2007
Ottoleo Kuter-Arneback, 2008-2009
Chris Fleck (U. Pittsburgh), 2008-2009
Nicholas Roche, 2008-2009
Michael Barako, 2009-2010
Gary Lee, 2007, 2009-2010
Shaun Swanson, 2009-2010
Gabbi Coloyan, 2010-2012
Alex Kowalski, 2012
Josh Fuhrman, 2014-2015 
Justin Abel, 2015-2016
Lane Darby, 2019
Rohan Mehta, 2020
Jiong Chen, 2020

Media mentions

CMU Engineering

Move over metals, plastics can be thermally conductive too

An interdisciplinary team led by Jon Malen has received funding from the Department of Defense to discover switchable high thermal conductivity polymers.

CMU Engineering

Meitz first in 25 years to receive DOE graduate fellowship

Mechanical engineering student Ethan Meitz is working to create predictive nanoscale models for the thermophysical properties of liquids.

Mechanical Engineering

Releasing the heat

Researchers develop a universal model to predict the thermal boundary conductance of a multilayered-metal-dielectric interface. This model will help to streamline the development of thermally efficient devices.

McGaughey selected for fellowship

MechE’s Alan McGaughey has been selected to receive the 2021 Viskanta Fellowship from Purdue University, which seeks individuals with “demonstrated abilities to perform independent and innovative research in the field of thermal sciences.”

Engineering faculty awarded professorships

Engineering faculty Peter Adams, Elizabeth Dickey, Carlee Joe-Wong, Pulkit Grover, Alan McGaughey, Rahul Panat, and Douglas Weber were awarded professorship titles in February and March 2021.

College of Engineering names 2019 faculty award winners

The College of Engineering has announced the winners of the 2019 faculty awards. They include: Alan McGaughey, Paulina Jaramillo, Jana Kainerstorfer, Reeja Jayan, Carmel Majidi, Jonathan Malen, and Vijayakumar Bhagavatula.

Scott Institute

Eight faculty receive Scott Institute seed grants for energy research

The Scott Institute recently selected awardees from the College of Engineering for its seventh round of seed grants for energy research.

Mechanical Engineering

Seeding energy research

Three faculty members in the Department of Mechanical Engineering received Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation’s Seed Grants for Energy Research.

Wang wins best poster award at IMECE

Ph.D. student Xiaoman Wang earned the award for Best Poster Presentation in the Society-Wide Micro and Nanotechnology Forum at the International Mechancial Engineering Congress & Exposition in Pittsburgh, Pa. Wang is a student of Professor of Mechanical Engineering Alan McGaughey. 

McGaughey named faculty chair-elect

MechE’s Alan McGaughey was appointed the College of Engineering faculty chair-elect.

Nature Materials

Malen and McGaughey published in Nature Materials

MechE Professors Johnathan Malen and Alan McGaughey published an article in Nature Materials on their team's discovery of the effects of rotational disorder on thermal conductivity in superatomic structures.