Dr. Theodorian (Theo) Borca-Tasciuc has a B.S. in Physics from Bucharest University and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA. He started his academic career in 2001 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and since 2013 he is a full professor. He is the director of the Nanoscale Thermophysics and Energy Conversion Laboratory (NanoTEC) on the Rensselaer campus. His research interests include fundamental and multiscale investigations of thermal transport and energy conversion particularly in solid-state and development of innovative materials, devices, and systems with applications ranging from sustainable buildings to medical devices. He received the NSF CAREER award, School of Engineering Outstanding Team award, is a member of the ASME’s K8 committee on Fundamentals of Heat Transfer, and a member of the ASME's K-9 committee on Nanoscale Thermal Transport. He organized and chaired multiple symposia and sessions on nanoscale thermal transport and energy conversion with ASME, MRS, and CIMTEC International Conferences.
Since January 2015, Dr. T. Borca-Tasciuc serves as the Associate Department Head for Graduate Affairs and the Mechanical Engineering Program Director for the MANE Dept. He is the director of a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowship program, a US Dept. of Education grant which supports MANE’s new interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in aeronautical engineering and mechanical engineering.
As of 2023 Dr. T. Borca-Tasciuc graduated (as main advisor or co-advisor) 20 PhD students and 46 Master students. He advised >140 undergraduate students on research projects. He authored >100 journal articles and book chapters, has >8350 citations, and h-index of 44. Two Rensselaer student start-up companies are linked to NanoTEC lab research: ThermoAura Inc. and MIMiC Systems Inc.
NanoTEC Lab research focuses on:
- Development of advanced metrology techniques for fast, accurate, and high spatial resolution characterization of thermal and thermoelectric properties
- Investigations of heat conduction and energy conversion in nanomaterials, including carbon nanotube arrays, metallic nanoparticle-polymer and nanowire-polymer composites, thermoelectrics
- Investigations of thermal transport across interfaces
- Nanofluids heat transfer
- Development of manufacturing and testing strategies for solid-state energy conversion devices and systems
- Prototyping and testing advanced refrigeration/heat pump and thermal management systems