Carnegie Mellon University

Sheng Shen

Sheng Shen

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering


Professor Sheng Shen is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, with a background in nanoscale engineering, thermal science, photonics and materials science. Prof. Shen’s research interests include nanoscale thermal transport and energy conversion phenomena, and their applications in solar or thermal energy conversion, thermal management, and multifunctional materials.

The energy transport properties of nanostructures can differ greatly from their bulk counterparts because the characteristic dimensions of nanostructures are often comparable with the wavelength or the mean free path of energy carriers such as photons, phonons and electrons. At the nanoscale, the properties of materials can be engineered to increase the energy density or energy conversion efficiencies. In his recent research, Prof. Shen demonstrated nanoscale thermal radiation exceeding Planck’s law by three orders of magnitude and thermal conductivity of polymer nanofibers three hundred times higher than that of bulk polymers.

Prof. Shen is a recipient of NSF CAREER Award (2013) and DARPA Young Faculty Award (2013). He also received the Philomathia Foundation Research Fellowship in Alternative Energy Research  from UC-Berkeley (2010), Hewlett-Packard Best Paper Award from ASME Heat Transfer Division (2008) and Best Paper Award from Julius Springer Forum on Applied Physics (2008).


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology


  • J. Shi, P. Li, B. Liu, S. Shen, "Tuning near field radiation by doped silicon," Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 102, 183114, 2013.
  • B. Liu, S. Shen, "Broadband near-field radiative thermal emitter/absorber based on hyperbolic metamaterials: Direct numerical simulation by Wiener-chaos expansion methods," Physical Review B, Vol. 87, 115403, 2013.
  • S. Shen, A. Henry, J. Tong, R. T. Zheng and G. Chen, Polyethylene nanofibers with very high thermal conductivities, Nature Nanotechnology, Vol. 5, 251-255, 2010. (Highlighted by Nature: )
  • S. Shen, R. G. Yang and G. Chen, Nonlocal formulation of the Reynolds equation for rarefied gas flow with steep pressure variation, Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 107, 104316, 2010.
  • S. Shen, A. Narayanaswamy, and G. Chen, Surface phonon polariton mediated energy transfer between nanoscale gaps, Nano Letters, Vol. 8, 2909-2913, 2009. (Highlighted by Nature:
  • A. Narayanaswamy, S. Shen, L. Hu, X. Chen, and G. Chen, Breakdown of the Planck blackbody radiation law at nanoscale gaps, Applied Physics A, Vol. 96, 357-362, 2009.
  • S. Shen, A. Narayanaswamy, S. Goh and G. Chen, Thermal conductance of bimaterial microcantilevers, Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 92, 063509, 2008. (Also selected for the February 25, 2008 issue of Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology.)
  • S. Shen and G. Chen, A kinetic theory analysis on the heat transfer in hard drive air bearing, Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 103, 054304, 2008.
  • A. Narayanawamy, S. Shen, and G. Chen, Near-field radiative transfer between a sphere and a substrate, Physical Review B, Vol. 78, 115303 (1-4), 2008.
  • S. Shen, G. Chen, R. M. Crone, and M. Anaya-Dufresne, A Kinetic-theory based 1st order slip boundary condition for gas flow, Physics of Fluids, Vol. 19, 085101, 2007.
  • S. Shen, J. L. Xu, J. J. Zhou and Y. Chen,Flow and heat transfer in microchannels with rough wall surface, Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 47, 1311-1325, 2006.
  • J. L. Xu, S. Shen, Y. H. Gan, Y. X. Li, W. Zhang and Q. C. Su, Transient flow pattern based microscale boiling heat transfer mechanisms, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, Vol. 15, 1344-1361, 2005.
  • S. Shen, W. Liu and W. Q. Tao, Analysis of field synergy on the natural convective heat transfer in porous media, International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 30, 1081-1090, 2003.
  • W. Liu, S. Shen, and S. B. Riffat, Heat transfer and phase change of liquid in an inclined enclosure packed with unsaturated porous media, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 45, 5209-5219, 2002