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Honors and Activities


  • 1st Place in Poster Presentation (2012) - 28th Annual Meeting of American Society for Gravitational and Space Research
  • Outstanding Masters Student (2010) - Awarded by the Graduate School, Auburn University
  • College Cricket Player of the Year (2011) - Awarded by American College Cricket

Leadership and team activities:

  • Treasurer - American Society for Gravitational and Space Research, Student Chapter, Dec 2012 - Present
  • Founder and President of Auburn University Cricket Club, Feb 2010 - Present; have written successful funding proposals for the club
  • Senator, Graduate Student Council, Auburn University, 2006 - 2008
  • Sports secretary, Indian Student Association, Auburn University, 2006 - 2007


Doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering with research expertise in electronics thermal management focusing on liquid-vapor phase-change cooling techniques.

  • Hands on experience with micro-fabrication of silicon structures, high speed imaging and hot wire anemometry
  • Excellent academic record; awarded the outstanding master's student in 2010
  • Good communication skills - served as an instructor for full courses in the department and serving as a teaching assistant. Presented research articles at various technical conferences and published papers in peer reviewed journals
  • Strong leadership and team skills - currently serving as the president of a university sports club, treasurer of a national research society's student chapter, and served in positions such as secretary and senator in other university organizations

Work experience

Aug 2006Present

Graduate Research Assistant

Auburn University
  • Designed and constructed experiments for testing phase-change cooling techniques such as flow boiling in microchannels and pool boiling of dielectric liquids
  • Developed micro silicon heat sinks for enhanced heat dissipation in electronics using micro-fabrication techniques such as using photolithography and dry and wet etching processes
  • Utilized high speed imaging and hot wire anemometry for liquid flow measurement
  • Used software like Labview, Matlab, and Vison Assistant for data acquisition, post processing and image processing respectively
  • Conducted experiments aboard NASA's zero gravity flight to study the effects of microgravity on boiling over asymmetric structures

List of Publications 

Thiagarajan, N., Kapsenberg, F., Narayanan, V., Bhavnani, S.H., Ellis, C.D., “Development of a Heat Sink With Periodic Asymmetric Structures Using Gray-scale Lithography and Deep Reactive Ion Etching”, Electron Device Letters, vol.33, no.7, July 2012. DOI: 10.1109/LED.2012.2197670

Kapsenberg, F., Thiagarajan, N., Narayanan, V., Bhavnani, S.H., “Lateral Motion of Bubbles from Surfaces with Mini Ratchet Topography Modifications During Pool Boiling – Experiments and Preliminary Model”, Proceedings of 13th IEEE Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems, San Diego, CA, May 2012.

Thiagarajan, N., Kapsenberg, F., Narayanan, V., Bhavnani, S.H., Ellis, C.D., “On the Lateral Motion of Bubbles Generated from Re-entrant Cavities Located on Asymmetrically Structured Surfaces”, Interpack 2011, Portland, OR, Paper no. IPACK2011-52056, July 2011.

Jones, R.J., Pate, D.T., Thiagarajan, N., and Bhavnani S.H., “Heat Transfer and Pressure Drop Characteristics in Dielectric Flow in Surface Augmented Microchannels”, Journal of Enhanced Heat Transfer, vol.16, no.3, pp 225-236, 2009.

Thiagarajan, N., Pate, D.T., Bhavnani, S.H., Jones, R.J., “Experimental Investigation of Flow Boiling in a Single, Surface-Augmented Silicon Microchannel”, Interpack 2009, San Francisco, CA, Paper no. IPACK2009-89324, July 2009.

Thiagarajan, N., Jones, R.J., Pate, D.T., and Bhavnani S.H., “Thermal Characteristics of Two-Phase Flow of a Dielectric Fluid in Surface Augmented Microchannels,” 2008, Proceedings of 11th IEEE Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems, Orlando, FL, pp. 189-196, May 2008.

Jones, R.J., Pate, D.T., Thiagarajan, N., and Bhavnani S.H., “Heat Transfer and Pressure Drop Characteristics in Dielectric Flow in Surface Augmented Microchannels”, Proceedings of 19th National and 8th ISHMT ASME Heat and Mass Transfer Conference, Hyderabad, India, Paper no. HMT-2008- MCH-13, Jan 2008.

Aug 2006Present

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Auburn University

Teaching Assistant:

  • Instructed and graded lab sessions for the courses Measurements and Instrumentation  and Thermodynamics
  • Graded and managed student records for various other courses like Heat Transfer and Thermodynamics
  • Assisted students in understanding the concepts and formulating the problems


  • Designed and scheduled the syllabus
  • Instructed full courses such as thermal sciences in mechanical engineering and Environmental Controls in the department of building science
  • Graded and managed the courses
May 2005Aug 2005

Summer Intern

IP Rings Ltd.

Investigated the failure of oil rings during the process of surface grinding


Sushil Bhavnani

“Acquiring soft-skills such as inter-personal communication, being an effective team-member, and a positive attitude towards problem-solving, are essential hallmarks of a successful researcher.  While Naveenan has already demonstrated his technical maturity as evidenced by his numerous refereed journal and conference publications, his acquisition of soft-skills has been even more noteworthy.  He has skillfully served as a mentor to both graduate and undergraduate students while becoming unofficial captain of my research lab responsible for its periodic upkeep.  He is ready to be a productive member of any industrial or university research and education organization.”  Sushil Bhavnani, Professor, Major Advisor



Master of Science

Auburn University

GPA: 4.0/4.0

Awarded Outstanding Master's Student in 2010 by Graduate School, Auburn University

Thesis Title: Experimental Investigation of Thermo-Hydraulic Characteristics of Two-Phase Flow of FC72 in Microchannel Heat Sinks

  • Analyzed the effects of inlet subcooling , mass flux and heat flux on heat transfer, pressure drop and flow instabilities in silicon microchannels for two-phase cooling
  • Studied the boiling dynamics using high speed imaging
  • Investigated channel-to-channel thermal interaction effects on flow instabilities using a single microchannel
  • Demonstrated the mitigation of flow instabilities using re-entrant cavities 
Jan 2010Present

Doctor of Philosophy

Auburn University

GPA: 3.9/4.0

Dissertation title: Thermally Actuated Pumping of a Dielectric Fluid Using Surface Asymmetry in Pool Boiling

  • Analyze thermally actuated pumping due to surface asymmetry in heat sinks– experiments and modelling
  • Fabricated an asymmetric saw-teeth structured heat sink with re-entrant cavities using gray scale photolithography, Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE) and wet etching processes
  • Investigated the effects of fluid subcooling, heat flux and gravity on pumping produced
  • Utilized high speed imaging and hot wire anemometry to study bubble and liquid dynamics
  • Conducted microgravity experiments aboard NASA Zero-G aircraft to study the effect of gravity
  • Used Labview for data acquisition and Matlab for post processing extensively. NI Vision Assistant was used for image processing
Jul 2002May 2006

Bachelor of Engineering

Anna University

Aggregate: 80.5/100


Software Skills
NII Labview - Data acquisition and automation for ground and zero-g experiments (5 years) AutoCAD, Solid Edge - Design and assembly of test structure (6 years) Ansys - Structural analysis of test structure to prove flight readiness to fly aboard NASA’s 0-g flight (<1yr> Matlab - Post processing of data including image processing of bubbles in the fluid (6 years) NI Vision Assistant – Image processing of bubbles in the fluid (<1> MS Office, Latex – Typesetting, documentation and presentations (6+ years)
Hot Wire Anemometry
Measured the liquid flow velocity due to surface asymmetry in pool boiling
High Speed Imaging
Captured high speed videos of boiling dynamics and flow instabilities in microchannels Utilized long distance microscopy to analyze the growth of a bubble and the flow field around it
Extensively used for fabrication of silicon microstructures for heat sinks Used gray-scale photolithohraphy to create sloped surfaces in silicon Etched micro cavities and channels using wet and dry etching respectively Oxidized and metalized silicon surfaces