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  • From Bottle Rockets to Expertise in Electronics: Georges Pavlidis Joins C2E2 as its Newest Member

From Bottle Rockets to Expertise in Electronics: Georges Pavlidis Joins C2E2 as its Newest Member

By: Ben Donouhe & Olivia Ortegon

Building and firing bottle rockets is a staple to begin a career of science and engineering. For Dr. Georges Pavlidis, this activity jump started his interest in engineering and he has never looked back. Born in France, Georges Pavlidis’ diverse background makes him a valuable asset to the Center for Clean Energy Engineering (C2E2) team. Dr. Pavlidis grew up in Michigan until the age of 12 years old where he then moved across the world to Germany to finish high school. From Germany, he moved to London to earn his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and then moved back to the United States to complete his Ph.D. at Georgia Tech University. Dr. Pavlidis then left the world of academia to work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology for government research.

“I was very excited about coming to UConn due to how big the University is and the pursuit of recruiting new faculty.” Dr. Pavlidis explained. “They’re very serious about expanding and developing the engineering programs and the research at the Center (C2E2) aligns well with my research goals and interests”. Dr. Pavlidis is focused on making electronics more efficient by reducing energy consumption and contributing to the effort of clean energy.

“The world is increasingly consuming more energy and thus increasing its demand, and we need to meet that demand. In doing so, we need to make sure it’s clean in order to limit our contribution to global warming more than what we already have done”, Dr. Pavlidis says in regards to why he is interested in clean energy.

“When I was in first grade, I remember being asked to think of an invention. I drew a flying car to avoid all the traffic and was interested in the drawing/designing portion of the

assignment, which is why I chose to study mechanical engineering”, he said of his interest in engineering. “I’ve always liked knowing how things work. As a kid, I used to play with Legos/KNex structures, a lot of which has contributed to my interest in mechanical engineering. The subject is a good base that you can afterwards apply to other engineering principles”.

To sum up his research into a few words, Dr. Pavlidis describes it as, “Nanoscale Heat Transfer for Electronics”. His focus is in looking at properties of electronics to improve their efficiency and performance as well as extracting their thermal conductivity (or thermal interface resistance) to enhance thermal transport. “I want to expand on thermal properties and look at chemical migration, not just thermal”. In his post doctorate, Dr. Pavlidis became a specialist in chemical imaging, specifically by using lasers for nanoscale mapping the chemical distribution of different subjects. Using this method, he was able to work with the national gallery of art to look at oil paintings and discover how to preserve them. This involved high resolution capturing images, on the nanoscale level, to monitor the formation of metal soaps which can be detrimental to the paintings.

“My future goals here at UConn and C2E2 are to expand my research to build an interdisciplinary program looking at interdependent processes between thermal, chemical, and electrical processes, not just enhancing performance of electronics”, Dr. Pavlidis said. “I have all the resources here at C2E2 with people studying these types of technology”.

When asked what advice he would give to someone interested in engineering and/or clean energy, he said, “Be open to learning different aspects of the topic, not just constricted to your own degree. Congrats that you’re interested in such an important topic, keep in mind the overall goal of clean energy, and think about how you can directly impact that.”

Dr. Pavlidis is not just a man of science and research, he also enjoys the world of sports as well. He loves playing team sports and is excited and hopeful UConn will be a home for him to enjoy his hobby of playing soccer and basketball. “If I can get other people to play with me, then it can improve the group dynamic”, he said. “If students are scared to approach me, maybe sports can be an avenue towards conversation”.

We welcome Dr. Pavlidis to Storrs and are happy to have him on our team. Look out for him at the recreation center on the court or field.


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