Faculty Directory

Agonafer, Damena

Agonafer, Damena

Associate Professor & Clark Faculty Fellow
Mechanical Engineering
Maryland Energy Innovation Institute
Center for Risk and Reliability


  • PhD, Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • MSc, Carnegie Mellon
  • BSc, University of Texas at Arlington


Professor Agonafer’s research interest is at the intersection of thermal-fluid sciences, interfacial transport phenomena, and renewable energy. He is focused on developing novel materials and systems for thermal management of power and microelectronic systems, as well as for thermochemical and electrochemical energy storage applications. His goal is to achieve transformational changes in technologies by tuning and controlling solid-liquid-vapor interactions at micro-/nano length scales. Specific areas of focus include the development of novel materials and micro-/nanostructures for phase change heat transfer, thermochemical energy storage, and interfacial transport phenomena. Applications of his work include cooling high-powered electronics, battery thermal management, and data center cooling, and improving the efficiency of HVAC systems.


Professor Agonafer earned his PhD at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he was supported by the Alfred P. Sloan fellowship, Graduate Engineering Minority Fellowship, and NSF Center of Advanced Materials for Purification of Water with Systems (WaterCAMPWS). After his PhD,  Damena joined Professor Ken Goodson’s Nanoheat lab as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford University. Prior to joining University of Maryland, Damena was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Washington University in Saint Louis. He is a recipient of the Google Research Award, Sloan Research Fellowship Award, Cisco Research Award, NSF CAREER Award, ASME Early Career award, and ASME K-16 Outstanding Early Faculty Career in Thermal Management Award. He was also one of 85 early-career engineers in the US selected to attend the 2021 National Academy of Engineering's 26th annual US Frontiers of Engineering symposium. 

Featured Publications: 

  • Agonafer, D., Miljkovic, N., Spector M.A., “Materials and Interface Challenges and Opportunities in High Vapor Quality Two-Phase Flow Boiling Research.”, IEEE Components & Transactions, 2021, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/TCPMT.2021.3085255.
  • Nahar, M., Ma, B., Chau, Q.H., Padilla, J., Iyengar, M., Agonafer, D., “Review article: Microscale evaporative cooling technologies for high- heat flux microelectronics devices: background and recent advances.”, Applied Thermal Engineering 2021, 194(117109). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng. 2021.117109.
  • Ma, B., Guye, G., Dogruoz B., Agonafer, D., “Molecular Dynamics simulations of thin-film evaporation: the influence of interfacial thermal resistance on a graphene-coated heated silicon substrate.”, Applied Thermal Engineering Volume 195, August 2021, 117142, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng. 2021.117142.
  • Ma, B., Shan, L., Dogruoz, B., Agonafer, D., Evolution of Microdroplet Morphology Confined on Asymmetric Micropillar Structures. Langmuir 2019, 35(37), 12264-12275. DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b01410Cover Image.
  • Shan, L., Li, J., Ma, B., Jiang, X., Dogruoz, B., Agonafer, D., “Experimental investigation of evaporation from asymmetric microdroplets confinedon heated micropillar structures.” Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 2019, 109, 109889.DOI: 10.1016/j.expthermflusci.2019.109889.
  • Li, J., Shan, L., Ma, B., Jiang, X., Solomon, A., Iyengar, M., Padilla, J., and Agonafer, D., “Investigation of the confinement effecton the evaporation behavior of a droplet pinned on a micropillar structure.” Journal of colloid and interface science, 2019, 555, pp.583-594.DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2019.07.096.
  • Shan, L., Ma, B., Li, J., Dogruoz, B., Agonafer, D., “Investigation of the evaporation heat transfer mechanism of a non-axisymmetric droplet confined on a heated micropillar structure.” International Journal of Heat and MassTransfer 2019, 141, 191-203. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijheatmasstransfer.2019.06.042.
  • Agonafer, D., H. Lee, P.A. Vasquez, Y. Won, K.W. Jung, S. Lingamnen, B. Ma, L. Shan, S. Shuai, Z. Du,Goodson, K.G.,"Porous micropillar structures for retaining low surface tension liquids." Journal of Colloid andInterface Science 2018, 514, 316-327. DOI: /10.1016/j.jcis.2017.12.011Cover Image.
  • J. W. Palko, H. Lee, C. Zhang, T.J. Dusseault, T. Maitra, Y. Won, Agonafer, D., J. Moss, F. Houshmand, Rong, G., Goodson, K., “Extreme Two-Phase Cooling from Laser-Etched Diamond and Conformal,Template-FabricatedMicroporous Copper.” Advanced Functional Materials, 2017, 27 (45). DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201703265.


UMD’s Tubaldi Wins NSF CAREER Award

Improved cardiovascular implants could be one result of an ME faculty member’s groundbreaking research.

UMD Selected for $3.5M ARPA-E COOLERCHIPS Award

Researchers will help develop more efficient cooling for data centers.

Agonafer Honored by ASME

UMD faculty member receives the K16 2022 Outstanding Early Faculty Career in Thermal Management Award.

Damena Agonafer: Taming Thermal Management

UMD Clark Faculty Fellow’s research could yield more efficient and environmentally friendly technology.


American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

  • Electronic & Photonic Packaging Division (EPPD) Early Career Engineer Award
  • K-16 Outstanding Early Faculty Career in Thermal Management Award