David G. Cahill

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Engineering and Technology

David Cahill is the Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

He joined the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the U. Illinois after earning his Ph.D. in condensed matter physics from Cornell University, and working as a postdoctoral research associate at the IBM Watson Research Center. His current research program focuses on developing a microscopic understanding of thermal transport at the nanoscale; extremes of low and high thermal conductivity in materials; the interactions between phonons, electrons, photons, and spin; and the kinetics and thermodynamics of aqueous and electrochemical interfaces with materials. He received the 2018 Innovation in Materials Characterization Award of the Materials Research Society (MRS); the 2015 Touloukian Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; and the Peter Mark Memorial Award of the American Vacuum Society (AVS). Professor Cahill received the 2020 Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award from the Grainger College of Engineering.

The David Cahill Research Group studies the science of heat, mass, spin, and charge transport in materials with a particular emphasis on the exchange of thermal energy at solid-solid and solid-liquid interfaces. Recently, the group developed new and powerful methods of characterizing nanoscale thermal transport using ultrafast laser metrology of precisely controlled thin film multilayers and suspensions of metallic nanoparticles. 

His research interests include nanoscale thermal transport, GHz frequency acoustics, magnetic materials, heat and mass transport in soft materials, ultrafast magneto-optics, and materials property microscopy.

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