Dr. Asegun HenryAssociate Professor & Director of The ASE Research Group
Dr. Asegun Henry started as an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT in 2018, where he directs the Atomistic Simulation & Energy (ASE) Research Group. Prior to MIT, he was an Assistant professor in the Woodruff school of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech from 2012 to 2018. He holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Florida A & M University as well as a M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Professor Henry’s primary research is in heat transfer, with an emphasis on understanding the science of energy transport, storage and conversion at the atomic level, along with the development of new industrial scale energy technologies to mitigate climate change. After finishing his Ph.D. he worked as a postdoc in the Materials Theory group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and then as postdoc in the Materials Science Department at Northwestern University. After Northwestern, he worked as a fellow in the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), where he focused on identifying new program areas, such as higher efficiency and lower cost energy capture, conversion and storage.
Professor Henry has made significant advances and contributions to several fields within energy and heat transfer, namely: solar fuels and thermochemistry, phonon transport in disordered materials, phonon transport at interfaces, and he has developed the highest temperature pump on record, which used an all-ceramic mechanical pump, to pump liquid metal above 1400°C. This technological breakthrough, which is now in the Guinness Book of World Records, has opened the door for new high temperature energy systems concepts, such as methane cracking for CO2 free hydrogen production and a new grid level energy storage approach affectionately known as “Sun in a Box”, that is slated to be cheaper than pumped hydro.
Professor Henry has also been the recipient of a number of awards including: the National Science Foundation Career Award, the Lockheed Inspirational Young Faculty Award, the Georgia Power Professor of Excellence Award, the ASME Bergles-Rohsenow Young Investigator Award in Heat Transfer and he was the winner of the 2018 World Technology Award for Energy. He has also been awarded a number of fellowships including an MIT Lemelson Presidential Fellowship, a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship, a UNCF-Merck Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Ford Foundation postdoctoral Fellowship.