Graduate Students

Ph.D. Students

Erik Barbosa

Bio: Erik received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Brigham Young University in 2021. He conducted research in the Temperature, Energy and Material Properties (TEMP) Lab, where he developed a sensor to measure the thermal conductivity of molten salts using the transient hot wire method. Erik also did a summer research internship at Los Alamos National Lab, where he used multi-sensor collaborative sampling schemes to reconstruct mechanical system signals. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, where his research is focused on developing thermochemical energy storage to decarbonize heat for building applications. Outside of research, Erik enjoys outdoor activities and playing video games.

Email: Erik Barbosa

Walter Parker

Bio: Walter received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Davis in 2018 and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 2020. At CMU, Walter worked in The Malen Laboratory where he designed and modeled a dynamic insulation that leverages the external environment to reach desired temperatures.  In summer 2021, Walter was a GEM Fellow at the National Renewable Energy Lab, where he developed thermal models for building applications. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, with a research focus on thermally driven desalination systems for clean water production. Walter’s hobbies include cooking and dancing (Salsa and Bachata).

Email: Walter Parker

Ahmed Mahfouz

Bio: Mahfouz received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMU-Q) in 2022. Mahfouz conducted research at the Micro Scale Thermo-Fluids (MSTF) Laboratory at TAMU-Q, where he worked on developing a blood-mimicking fluid for microchannel applications for medical instruments. He also conducted research on the fabrication of stainless-steel sintered parts via 3D printing using Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). Mahfouz also studied the impact of urban construction parameters on annual cooling load profiles of residential buildings through a sensitivity study based on the microclimate of Doha’s Marina district. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, with a research focus on desalination using thermally responsive ionic liquids.

Email: Ahmed Mahfouz


Masters Students

John Huang

Bio: John received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2021. He conducted research in the Scalable Thermal Engineering Lab (STEEL), where he worked on characterizing organic thermoelectric fibers for energy harvesting. Currently he is pursuing his M.S in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, where his research is focused on designing a flow-based thermal separator for solar desalination.

Email: John Huang

Elyssa Ferguson

Bio: Elyssa received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2020. She conducted summer research at Vanderbilt University in the Pint Lab, where she investigated cathode materials for magnesium-ion batteries. Elyssa also conducted summer research at the University of Chicago in the Jaeger Lab, where she studied the movement of macroscopic granular particles under stress for soft robotics applications. Currently, she is a GEM Fellow pursuing her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, with a research focus on developing sustainably engineered composites as building materials. Elyssa’s hobbies include photography and dancing.

Email: Elyssa Ferguson