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Cooling and Heating Innovation Lab

Contact Information

Melanie Derby
Assistant Professor


DerbyDr. Melanie Derby, assistant professor and Hal and Mary Seigele Professorship in Engineering, graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, NY, with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May 2008. She joined an Office of Naval Research-sponsored MURI project at RPI for graduate study, under the direction of Profs. Michael Jensen and Yoav Peles. At RPI, she studied condensation heat transfer and received her M.S. in 2010 and Ph.D. in May 2013.

In August 2013, she joined the faculty at Kansas State University and studies multi-phase flows, the Food, Energy, and Water Nexus, and buildings. She received a 2017 NSF CAREER Award, 2017 KSU College of Engineering Outstanding Assistant Professor Award, and 2017 ICNMM Outstanding Early Career Award. Melanie is an enthusiastic researcher, teacher, and gardener.
Graduate Students 
ChakrabortyPartha Pratim Chakraborty graduated from Chittagong University of Engineering & Technology, Bangladesh in Mechanical Engineering in 2017. He joined the lab in the fall of 2017 and is currently pursuing Ph.D. Research area: Thermo fluids (Alteration of hydrophobicity to restrict evaporation from soil). His extracurricular activities include guitar and percussion. 
Photo of Ryan HuberRyan Huber earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science minor from Kansas State University in 2016. Upon graduation, he began working in the CHIL lab as a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering, with a focus on thermal and fluids sciences. His work is focused on enhanced condensation in cooling towers.
Photo of Jordan MorrowJordan Morrow graduated from Kansas State University in December 2016 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Mathematics. He is now working on a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. He has worked on several projects during his time in the lab including studying the effects of hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces on the heat transfer characteristics of steam with and without the presence of noncondensable gas. He is currently working on studying the heat transfer characteristics of low GWP emerging refrigerants as well as studying wicking structures utilizing additive manufacturing. In the fall, he will be a NSF-funded research trainee working on the Rural Resource Resiliency project.

RileyGennifer Riley graduated in May of 2017 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Physics. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Kansas State University. Gennifer's research involves studying the effects of wicking structures on heat transfer characteristics in condensers. 
Emily Stallbaumer graduated from Kansas State University in May 2018 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Fall 2018 she started her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and began work in the Multiphase Microfluidics Lab and joined the CHIL Lab in Summer 2019. Her research is focused on the exploring methods to protect heat pipes or lower the freezing point of the working fluid in heat pipes when freezing in space. 
Undergraduate Students

Adan Cernas hails from Garden City, Kansas. After completing his associates degree at Garden City Community College, he transferred to KSU and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. His hobbies include working out and building model kits.

Carlos Espino-Mendez is originally from Mexico. He is pursuing his Associates of Science at Garden City Community College. Carlos joined the lab during summer of 2019 under the KS-LSAMP Research Immersion: Pathways to STEM (RiPS) program. He studied wick structures under the guidance of graduate student Jordan Morrow. He plans on majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

David A. Navarrete is a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering. With his degree, he aspires to help develop more efficient use of earths resources and slow or reverse climate change. When not in school, studying, or taking data in the lab, he enjoys working out, cooking and going to music festivals! 

Jarrod Booth was an undergraduate from Manhattan, KS pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Business and Mathematics, with plans to graduate in December of 2018. He worked with Jordan Morrow studying the characteristics of lower GWP alternative refrigerants. 
Photo of Brandon BultongezKevin Bultongez joined the team in summer of 2014 as a research assistant and graduated with his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2015. He studied oil-water flows and received his M.S. in 2017. Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he received his H.S diploma from Plano East Senior High in Dallas, Texas. He is currently working in the industry in Kansas City.
Carly Byrne was an undergraduate student from Lee's Summit, MO pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Minors in Leadership and Mathematics. She joined CHIL lab summer of 2018, working with Partha Chakraborty in studying the process of evaporation in a simulated soil pore. She plans to graduate Kansas State University in May 2021.
Photo of Xi ChenXi Chen earned a B.S. in Process Equipment and Controlling Engineering from Wuhan Institute of Technology. He earned his M.S. in 2012 from Wichita State University, where he researched multi-body dynamics and was a research assistant in the Crash Dynamics Lab at the National Institute for Aviation Research. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from K-State University in thermal fluids.
Nicole DoughramajiNicole Doughramaji is a senior undergraduate from Topeka, KS pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a mathematics minor.  She joined the lab in the summer of 2016, working with Xi Chen studying how a flapping motion affects water droplet coalescence and departure on flexible films. She is now working with Gennifer Riley studying condensation on porous wicking structures. She plans to graduate in May 2019.
Photo of Jacob DunsheeJacob Dunshee graduated in December of 2015 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the lab in Summer 2015 and worked with Kevin Bultongez studying oil and water flows.
Giselle GuanesGiselle Guanes is from Asuncion, Paraguay. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from KSU in 2018. She worked the lab during the Summer 2017, working with Ryan Huber studying droplet condensation on hydrophobic surfaces. She enjoys spending time with friends, taking pictures, and playing music. 
Photo of Maryam HamehkhasiMaryam Hamehkasi received her B.S. in Agricultural Engineering in 2006 in Iran from Bu-Ali sina University. She was an M.S. student from 2014-2015.
Photo of Eric KerschenEric Kerschen worked in the CHIL lab from 2014-2015. He graduated in May 2015 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Mathematics.
Photo of Devon VogtsDevon Vogts worked in the CHIL lab from 2014-2015. He graduated with his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May 2015.