Dean Graham Receives Top ASME Award

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The American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) has selected Samuel Graham, Jr., Dean of Maryland Engineering, to receive the 2022 ASME Allan Kraus Thermal Management Medal “for expertise in the thermal engineering of wide bandgap semiconductor devices and interfaces, including heterogeneous integration methods for thermal management.” The award will be formally presented during the International Technical Conference on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and Photonics Microsystems Conference and Exhibition taking place from October 25-27, 2022, in Garden Grove, CA.

Established in 2009, the ASME Allan Kraus Thermal Management Medal recognizes an individual’s significant contributions in thermal management along with their dedication to the field of thermal science and engineering. All awardees have demonstrated their contributions to thermal management through product development, seminal papers, patents, and leadership of research and development programs. Prior recipients include UMD Distinguished University Professor Avraam Bar-Cohen, who served as chair of the UMD mechahical engineering department from 2001 to 2010.

Among former award winners is Cristina Amon, Cristina Amon, Distinguished University Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto. Her innovative work with thermofluids has helped transform the University of Toronto’s engineering school into a global hub for interdisciplinary research and education. Amon and Graham’s research shares an intersection in thermal management.

“Professor Graham is an international leader in measuring thermal properties and thermal boundary resistance in wide bandgap semiconductors, which has allowed for improved designs, thermal management, and reliability,” says Amon. “His work has had a prominent impact on developing technologies such as AlGaN/GaN RF HEMTs, GaN power electronics, Ga2O3 electronics, UVC LEDs, and AFM thermal cantilevers for both commercial and military applications.”

Graham has demonstrated his dedication to the advancement of thermal management in his previous role as the Eugene C. Gwaltney, Jr. Chair of the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, as well as his 18 years as a faculty member, at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“I am sincerely honored to receive the ASME Allan Kraus Thermal Management Medal. This is a recognition of the research efforts of my students, post-docs, and collaborators that I have worked with over my career. I am passionate about continuing to foster collaborative endeavors toward applications for the thermal management of emerging electronic systems,” says Graham.

Specifically, Graham’s commitment to innovation, research, and education is clearly established in his work with micro and nano engineering. His research on organic and flexible electronics is primed to provide important data for future displays and wearable devices. Additionally, Graham’s groundbreaking studies on the thermal analysis of Gallium Nitride (GaN) high-electron mobility transistors is critical for a wide range of applications such as the fabrication, packaging, and reliability of modern RF communications, solar blind sensors, radar systems, and power electronics.

Vincent Gambin, principal scientist and group lead at Northrop Grumman, is a leader in research exploring thermal solutions for high power electronics. Gambin’s own research expertise as well as his collaborative efforts with Graham gives him specific insight on the importance of Graham’s work on the thermal management of GaN.

“The use of GaN as a semiconductor is significant because it is able to process high frequencies and high power, enabling more efficient electronic systems. This opens the door for countless new engineering solutions,” says Gambin. “However, GaN systems are thermally limited, and in order to implement their full capability, more studies need to be done. This is why Graham’s cutting-edge research on the thermal management of GaN is so important.”

Indeed, Graham’s research efforts have been acknowledged with the National Science Foundation CAREER Award as well as his serving on the advisory board of the Engineering Science Research Foundation of Sandia National Laboratories and the Emerging Technologies Technical Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Commerce. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and now, is a recipient of the ASME Allan Kraus Thermal Management Medal.

“I am sincerely honored to receive the ASME Allan Kraus Thermal Management Medal. This is a recognition of the research efforts of my students, post-docs, and collaborators that I have worked with over my career. I am passionate about continuing to foster collaborative endeavors toward applications for the thermal management of emerging electronic systems,” says Graham. “Electronics will remain a ubiquitous part of our lives for the foreseeable future and managing thermal challenges will be critical as they evolve. I am happy to play a role in advancing this technology." 

As the Dean of the A. James. Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, Graham aims to work with students, faculty, staff, alumni, industry partners, and national laboratories to develop cutting-edge research to address global grand challenges such as climate change, health, energy, and infrastructure. Graham firmly believes that engineers will play a central role in finding solutions to the world’s grand challenges.  

Published August 17, 2022