Engineering’s Greg Walker named ASME Fellow

Greg Walker, associate professor of mechanical engineering, has been selected to be a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for “exceptional engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession.” Walker is one of approximately 3,000 fellows chosen from among more than 130,000 ASME members.

Associate Professor Greg Walker

Cited by the ASME, Walker’s significant contributions include the creation of new lines of scientific inquiry that has changed the way many researchers think about energy conversion materials. His pioneering work in thermal rectification initiated a new direction in phonon engineering that has implications to cooling advanced microelectronic devices.

Walker is an expert on fabricating, characterizing, and using thermographic phosphors to evaluate thermal performance in damaging environments such as combustion chambers and turbine blades.

His research into luminescent materials have led to advances in the measurement of local temperatures in and around metamaterials. Now, many of the theories about heat generation in plasmonic devices, which are important to applications that require enhanced energy collection (solar thermal), can be tested and refined. This technology could lead to better disk drive designs with improved storage density and even medical devices.

Walker’s investigation into luminescent materials also has led to alternative radiation detection schemes that are simultaneously active and passive. This means a single material can detect an instantaneous radiation event and record the accumulation of events for evaluation at some arbitrary time later. This discovery is important to homeland security application and to space missions.

He has more than 50 journal publications and more than 60 conference papers with presentations, most of which are focused on two important areas of research: micro-scale energy transport in materials for direct energy conversion, and thermographic phosphors for absolute, remote temperature sensing.

Walker has been an active member of ASME for more than two decades, serving as organizer for numerous technical conferences – eight track chair positions, 21 sessions chairs positions in 18 conferences – and reviewer of two ASME journals, Journal of Heat Transfer and Journal of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications.

Walker joined the mechanical engineering faculty in 2001. He directs the Thermal Engineering Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Research sponsors include the National Science Foundation, Oak Ridge and Sandia national laboratories, Air Force Research Laboratory, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and others, as well as numerous U.S. university partners.

Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering