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Jonathan Boreyko

Jonathan Boreyko

Fluid mechanics, phase-change heat transfer, and bio-inspired materials and systems

As a grad student at Duke University, I fell in love with researching droplets. It was an amazing concept to me that I could get paid for making fun videos of droplets bouncing and jumping around. After getting my Ph.D. at Duke in 2012, followed by a postdoc at the Oak Ridge National Lab, I became a professor at Virginia Tech in 2014.

I run the Nature-Inspired Fluids and Interfaces lab and have published 50 papers and book chapters over the past decade alongside my wonderful students. 

I am interested in various nature-inspired interfacial phenomena that lie at the intersection of fluid mechanics, phase-change heat transfer, and water and energy harvesting. Our group believes that nature has already solved many of the challenges humanity faces today and we strive to uncover and exploit these amazing natural phenomena. Examples of our research include developing fog harps for water harvesting, building artificial trees for use as renewable hydraulic pumps, fabricating anti-frosting surfaces, and inventing new kinds of vapor chambers for smart thermal management.




I first discovered a passion for this work ...

When my graduate advisor, Chuan-Hua Chen, showed me videos of droplets on non-wetting surfaces.

 

My work impacts society ...

By leveraging novel phenomena to invent new multi-functional materials and systems.

 

The most formative experience I've had ...

Was spending summers in New Hampshire with extended family, hiking, swimming, reading, and playing games.

 

I see the future in my field ...

As curiosity-driven and interdisciplinary.

 

I wish I invented ...

I've had enough lucky breaks that I try hard not to envy the ingenuity of others.

 

My favorite quote ....

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." -Albert Einstein

 

In my free time ...

I go on bike rides and hikes with my kids, play piano, and read.

 

Best part of working at Virginia Tech ...

The enthusiasm and dedication of the students.

 

Something that excites me in my field ...

I love how fast things are evolving. The state-of-the-art from even five years ago is old hat by today's standards. It's hard work but this way we never get bored.

 

Groups or organizations I am involved in ...

Bio-Inspired Science and Technology, Macromolecules Innovation Institute, Bio-Build, BioTRANS, and the Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics.

 

Honor or award I am most proud of ...

National Science Foundation CAREER award for developing artificial trees for water harvesting.

 

Last article I read ...

Nanorheology of Interfacial Water during Ice Gliding. Really fun article that reveals how we can "glide" on ice when you skate or ski.

 

Words of encouragement to an aspiring inventor ...

Your passion, creativity, and persistence are more important than what you learn from textbooks.

 

If I had a superpower, it would be ...

Creating more time each day. Doing tenure track while also having five kids in six years is super intense!

 

Do I have time for another question ...

No, I don't -  the kids are calling.

Additional Highlights

Lindsey Haugh    |    Media Contact

540-231-6959
lhaugh@vt.edu

Jonathan Boreyko    |    Associate Professor

Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech

boreyko@vt.edu

(540) 231-0469


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