As a teacher, it is my job to impart knowledge, inspire creative and independent thinking, and foster a passion for engineering. Many undergraduate courses are just as much a lesson in how to think critically as they are a lesson in a particular subject. A very solid engineering intuition is an indispensable tool for students, and it is my goal to provide students with the mentality and skills to develop a strong engineering intuition. I aim to give students the tools to analyze and assess a wide range of engineering systems from a wholistic viewpoint (from thermodynamic feasibility, to efficiency, to heat or mass transfer performance, to cost). I also hope to give students the opportunity to fail in the classroom, learn from their mistakes, develop a mastery of the subject matter, and complete the class feeling confident in their knowledge and proud of the progress they made. The thirst for knowledge and desire to excel in a topic starts with a teacher that is truly passionate about the subject matter, and I am incredibly passionate about teaching (and finding newer, better ways of teaching) thermodynamics, heat transfer, and energy systems.
Teaching Methodology: I first discovered a love for teaching when I was a TA during my Master’s degree, and then I solidified my desire to teach when serving as a lecturer during my teaching practicum at Georgia Tech. I work hard to engage the students by promoting discussions and posing challenging questions. I try to create an environment where students are not afraid to answer questions incorrectly but are eager to learn from their mistakes when they are wrong.
I also understand the importance of implementing different teaching strategies to cater to different learning styles. In one-on-one discussions, I work with students to find their sticking points and then convey the material in a way that they understand. For larger lectures, I put great effort into crafting a cohesive “narrative” that makes sense to students and is easy to recall, implementing different teachings methods, from visual aids to worked examples. I have already built a repository of past lectures and am constantly improving them, getting feedback from students and from other instructors on what was effective and what needs work.
Research Mentorship: As passionate as I am about teaching, I am equally eager to mentor students as they engage in research. At Georgia Tech, I have mentored three different undergraduate students, crafting their research plans, teaching them the skills they needed to conduct the research, and advising them along the way, while giving them the freedom to become independent researchers. I also had the chance to mentor junior graduate students when I was a senior Ph.D. student, assisting them in planning and improving experiments, interpreting results, and thinking critically about their research. I have also helped both the undergraduate and graduate students that I mentored to craft presentations on their research and apply for fellowships.
My research mentorship philosophy involves motivating students to (i) relentlessly seek answers to scientific questions, (ii) approach problems with a fundamental, first principles mindset and then (iii) get into the weeds of the specialized aspects of the problem, ultimately (iv) become capable of independent research, while still engaging in collaboration and discussions with their peers. I also believe that building a cohesive research group is imperative to success. I learned so much from the senior graduate students in the lab when I started my Ph.D., and I intend to create a lab culture where the senior students are eager to teach and mentor the junior students, taking on leadership roles inside and outside of the lab. To this end, I will continue the tradition of weekly lab meetings that both of my advisors at Georgia Tech (Yee, Menon) implemented. These meetings are a great chance to practice effective communication and presentation skills, get feedback and insight into one’s research, and foster a sense of community within the lab.
Undergraduate Courses: One of my greatest passions is studying and teaching thermodynamics, and I’m eager to teach other subjects, like heat transfer, as well. The following is a list of standard undergraduate courses I am excited to teach:
In addition to the standard courses above, I would love to introduce junior- and senior-level students to:
- Energy Systems: A look at the various energy systems and components that are ubiquitous in our modern world, from pumps to heat exchangers, vapor compression to absorption refrigeration, energy storage to desalination. I took a graduate-level version of this course at Arizona State and taught an undergraduate-level version at Georgia Tech.
- Refrigeration and Air Conditioning: A look at the thermodynamics, heat transfer, and cost of various refrigeration and dehumidification technologies, from well-established (vapor compression, absorption) to emerging (caloric cycles).
- Exergy and Thermoeconomics: A more in-depth look at the applications of thermodynamics than what is provided in undergraduate thermodynamics. The first half of the class would involve a more detailed, rigorous explanation of entropy and exergy, including thermomechanical and chemical exergy. The second half of the class would then see the students using exergy to evaluate the cost of various thermal systems. An emphasis will be placed on evaluating levelized costs of electricity (solar, wind, natural gas, etc.), storage (thermal, batteries, etc.), and water (desalination, atmospheric water harvesting).
Graduate Courses: The following are standard graduate-level courses that I am eager to teach:
Additionally, I took various energy-related courses as a graduate student that I would be eager to teach if given the opportunity:
- Energy Systems: The previously mentioned undergraduate Energy Systems course could also be tailored to graduate students.
- Advanced Thermodynamics: A more in-depth study of thermodynamics than an undergraduate thermodynamics course affords, with a focus on both advanced theory (g., statistical thermo) and application (e.g., exergy analyses). Emphasis will be placed on statistical thermodynamics, entropy, free energy, exergy, chemical potential, and phase equilibrium. Engineering Equation Solver (EES) or MATLAB with CoolProp will be used to solve problems related to thermodynamic analyses of fuel cells, vapor compression and absorption refrigerators, desiccant dehumidifiers, and desalination plants (to name a few examples).
Georgia Institute of Technology
ME 4315 – Energy Systems Analysis and Design (Teaching Practicum)
– Guest Lecture (Desalination)
– Guest Lecture (Energy Storage)
Arizona State University
MAE 241 – Thermodynamics I (Teaching Assistant)