Virginia Tech® home

Michael von Spakovsky

Robert E. Hord Jr. Professor
  • Focus Area: Thermo-Fluid Sciences
Michael von Spakovsky
Office 127B
Mechanical Engineering,
1600 Innovation Drive, Suite 127,
Blacksburg VA 24061

Research Interests

  •   Theoretical and applied non-equilibrium and equilibrium thermodynamics with two principal focuses: i) steepest-entropy-ascent quantum thermodynamics (SEAQT) and ii) reactive and non-reactive non-equilibrium phenomena at all spatial and temporal scales
  • Thermoeconomics / exergo-environomics / exergy analysis: computational methods for modeling and optimizing complex energy systems; methodological approaches (with and without sustainability and uncertainty considerations) for the integrated synthesis, design, operation, control, reliability, and resiliency of energy systems; decomposition approaches for large-scale optimization
  • Heat, mass, and charge transport
  • Kinetic theory, the Boltzmann equation, and its master equations (e.g., the BGK equation)
  • Numerical Modeling: macroscopic (i.e., finite element and finite difference approaches applied to the continuum conservation equations), mesoscopic (i.e., Lattice Boltzmann Method applied to the BGK equation and the SEAQT equation of motion), atomistic (i.e., closed form and discretized solutions of the energy eigenvalue problem and discretized solutions of the SEAQT equations of motion)

See Dr. von Spakovsky's publications and research on Google Scholar.

  • 1997–Present, Director, Center for Energy Systems Research/Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech
  • 1989-1996, Adjoint scientifique/Charge de cours (senior tenured associate professor); Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 1987-1989, Engineering Consultant (electric power utility industry); System Technologies, Atlanta, GA
  • 1984-1986, Instructor, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 1979-1984, Engineer, Southern Company Services Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • 1974-1978, Engineer Programmer Analyst, Southern Company Services Inc., Atlanta, GA
  • 1970-1973, Aerospace Engineer Trainee, National Aeronautics & Space Administration, Huntsville, AL
  • June-July 1997, June 1998, June 2000, July-Aug 2010, Visiting Professor in the Laboratoire d’energetique industrielle at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • July 2010, Visiting Professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Universita di Brescia, Brescia, Italy
  • 2014, ASME James Harry Potter Gold Medal
  • 2012, ASME Edward F. Obert Award
  • ASME Fellow since 2001
  • ASME AESD Lifetime Achievement Award
  • ASME Advanced Energy Systems Division Systems Analysis 2012 Best Paper Award
  • ASME Advanced Energy Systems Division Systems Analysis 2008 Best Paper Award
  • ASME Advanced Energy Systems Division Systems Analysis 2005 Best Paper Award
  • ASME Advanced Energy Systems Division Systems Analysis 2000 Best Student Paper Award
  • Elected as member to Sigma Xi (The Scientific Research Society)
  • Elected as member to Tau Beta Pi (Engineering Honorary Society)
  • Ph.D. - Georgia Institute of Technology, 1986
  • M.S. - Georgia Institute of Technology, 1980
  • B.S. - Auburn University, 1974