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Michael von Spakovsky

Robert E. Hord Jr. Professor
  • Thrust Area Specialty: Energy Engineering and Science
Michael von Spakovsky
114U Randolph Hall (0710)
460 Old Turner Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Research Interests

  • Theoretical and applied non-equilibrium and equilibrium thermodynamics with two principal focuses: i) intrinsic quantum thermodynamics (IQT) and its mathematical framework steepest-entropy-ascent quantum thermodynamics (SEA-QT) and ii) SEA non-equilibrium thermodynamics (SEA-NT)
  • 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 SEA-NT equation of motion), atomistic (i.e., closed form and discretized solutions of the energy eigenvalue problem and discretized solutions of the IQT/SEA-QT equations of motion)
  • Renewable and non-renewable stationary power/cogeneration/district heating-cooling systems; infrastructure systems (e.g., grid/microgrid/producer/storage networks)
  • Fuel cell applications for both transportation and centralized, distributed, and portable power generation and cogeneration.
  • High performance (supersonic and hypersonic) and uninhabited air vehicles
  • Nanoscale and microscale reactive and non-reactive systems

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