Principal Investigator

Prof. Andrea Pickel

Office: 219 Hopeman Engineering Building
Phone: (585) 275-9142


Andrea Pickel joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rochester as an Assistant Professor in July 2019. Professor Pickel received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2019, where she was supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship and a UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Fellowship. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with University and College Honors from Carnegie Mellon University in May 2014.  Her current research interests include harnessing the unique properties of luminescent materials to develop nanothermometry techniques with exceptional spatial and temporal resolution and developing thermal metrology for use at high temperatures and in harsh chemical environments. She is the recipient of a 2020 American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (ACS PRF) Doctoral New Investigator Award, a 2021 University of Rochester Furth Fund Award, and a 2022 NSF CAREER Award.

Ph.D. Students

Dinesh Bommidi

Dinesh Bommidi is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rochester (UR). He received his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from JNTUK-UCE Vizianagram (India). Later, he joined CMSML group at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and finished his M.S in 2018 under the guidance of Prof. Iman Salehinia. His past research was to investigate the thermal properties of metal-coated Carbon Nanotubes using Molecular Dynamics atomistic simulations. In 2019, he joined NTTL at UR where he now focuses on developing time-resolved far-field nanothermometry techniques using luminescent materials. Dinesh’s free time is usually spent on cooking, hiking or exploring nature reserves.


Ziyang Ye

Ziyang Ye graduated with a Bachelor degree in Materials Science from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 2017. Then he began master’s study at University of Rochester and did research of water-soluble conjugated polymers in Rothberg’s group. In 2019, after obtained master’s degree, he decided to stay in Rochester, joined Pickel’s group and took photophysics to be his greatest research interest. Now, he is trying to investigate the optical properties and applications of upconversion nanoparticles. He enjoys listening classical music and doing gym with his friends.



Ben Harrington

Ben Harrington is currently pursuing a PhD in Materials Science at the University of Rochester (U of R). He received his B.S. in Nanoscale Engineering with Honors from SUNY Polytechnic Institute in May 2021. His undergraduate research in the photoluminescent properties of nanostructured materials drives his interests with the nanoscale thermal transport lab at the U of R and towards develop nanothermometry techniques utilizing luminescent materials. In his free time Ben enjoys playing the piano and also playing volleyball.





Current Undergraduate Students

Melanie Earle (Fall 2019 – present)

Xiaoshan (Jennifer) Liu (Fall 2022 – present)