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 2010 National Sustainability Expo

 Stove Team at 2010 National Sustainability Expo in DC

2008 Sustainable Energy Senior Design Team Picnic


Rob Stevens – Rob has been an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Rochester Institute of Technology since September 2005.  He received a BS with distinction in Engineering from Swarthmore College in 1992.  From 1992 through 1995, he was involved with a series of research projects in the field of building science and energy efficiency in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.  He later received his MS in Mechanical Engineering at North Carolina State University, where he conducted research on a novel approach to solar water pasteurization.  Upon completion of his degree, he managed the research and solar thermal programs at the NC Solar Center from 1998-2001.  At the Solar Center, he conducted research on several solar thermal and electric systems, conducted air-infiltration in new construction studies, and developed and taught several solar related courses to practicing engineers and contractors.

Rob returned to graduate school in the fall of 2001 as an NSF IGERT Fellow and in 2005, completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Virginia.  At UVA, he conducted research in the areas of microscale heat transfer, ultrashort-pulsed laser heating, molecular dynamics simulations, and characterization of microscale thermal properties of thin films and interfaces.  Rob’s current research at RIT is focused on measuring and modeling performance of thermoelectric modules and waste heat recovery systems for power generation applications and developing an improved cook stove using thermoelectrics to reduce fuel consumption and improve indoor air quality.

In his free time, Rob enjoys orienteering, traveling, cross-country skiing, camping, gardening, and, most importantly, being a dad.

 Current Lab Members

 John Kreuder - Thesis: System Level Feasibility Simulation for Thermoelectric Heat Recovery Platforms





 Andy Freedman - Thesis: A Thermoelectric Generation Subsystem Model for Heat Recovery Simulations





Andrei Stihi - Graduate student studying CO2 waste heat recovery systems





Bri Stephenson-Vallot - 

Brianna is a Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student at Rochester Institute of Technology, with a focus on sustainability. As a Rochester native, Brianna started her engineering career through the Project Lead the Way Program offered at Rush-Henrietta Senior High School. As a McNair Scholar, Brianna conducted research on the optimization of an improved cook stove for developing countries under Dr. Stevens. Currently, she is the Vice President of RIT’s Engineers for a Sustainable World, which strives to provide global, community, and campus wide communities with sustainable solutions. After completing her undergraduate studies, she would like to attend graduate school to focus on appropriate technologies for developing countries.

Former Lab Members 

 Kevin Smith - Thesis: An Investigation into the Viability of Heat Sources for Thermoelectric Power Generation Systems

Kevin hails from Hamburg, NY and came to RIT where he ran on the cross-country and track teams. In 2006 he was part of the Cross-Country team that made it to nationals and was awarded as Academic All-American award for his efforts.  He was also active throughout the Mechanical Engineering Department as the Secretary of the Pi Tau Sigma honor society.  While working with Dr. Stevens he developed a model to describe  the performance of a thermolectric power generation system, and a optimization program for automotive systems.  He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Utah working with various geothermal technologies, specifically developing models to describe underground heat storage.


Emil Sandoz-Rosado - Thesis: Investigation and Development of Advanced Models of Thermoelectric Generators for Power Generation Applications

Originally from Lexington, Massachuetts, Emil began pursuing his engineering career at RIT in 2002.  Having built experience in modeling thermoelectric coolers for computer heat management at Delphi Thermal Systems, Emil decided to work on a thermoelectric power generation Senior Design Project under Professor Rob Stevens in 2007.  Later, that work would provide a foundation for Emil's Master's Thesis in which he developed models of thermoelectric devices, again under the advisement of Rob Stevens at RIT.  The thermoelectric modeling developed at RIT yielded several publications and Emil was awarded a GEM Fellowship to support his research.

Currently, Emil is a Ph.D. student at Columbia University and a NASA JPFP Fellow.  His work at Columbia includes fatigue study and nanomechanics, specifically for applications in aerospace and energy technologies.  Emil remains committed to contributing to socially-responsible energy technologies and eventually hopes to have a faculty position that affords him the ability to continue research in these areas.