Vijay Narasimhan, an International Fulbright S&T Fellow from Canada, is a Ph.D. student in Materials Science at Stanford University. For Vijay, rough terrain, intense light, and scorching heat are ideal working conditions. His research at Stanford focuses on using nanotechnology to improve the efficiency of photon-enhanced thermionic emitters (PETE devices), which are new types of solar energy converters. PETE devices sit inside a solar concentrator, where light from the sun is magnified by several thousand times and the temperature can reach well above 600 degrees. Under these energetic conditions, electrons can be coaxed into breaking free of a material and emitting from the surface and this flow of electrons can be harnessed as electrical power. Vijay is investigating how to use nanoscale roughness and ultra-thin surface coatings to make this process more efficient.
Prior to commencing his Ph.D. studies, Vijay was awarded the Governor General’s Medal for his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering at the University of Ottawa. He then completed a Master’s degree in Micro- and Nanotechnology Enterprise at the University of Cambridge with distinction under the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship Program. Vijay has held hardware design positions at the National Research Council, Quake Technologies, and Curtiss-Wright, and he is the Co-founder and President of MEMwave Inc., a start-up venture focusing on antennas for next-generation wireless systems.
Vijay also participates in a number of community building efforts; he regularly volunteers for science outreach activities, professional bodies, and local and international non-profit organizations, and has raised over $10,000 for charitable causes. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming at the Stanford pool, cycling, and eating cheese.
PhD (2015, Materials Science and Engineering) Stanford University, Stanford, CA
MS (2009, Micro and Nanotechnology) University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
BS (2007, Computer Engineering) University of Toronto, Canada