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McKelvey School of Engineering

Brown School

MEMS Seminar: Jingcheng Ma, PhD

Thursday, November 2, 2023 | 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Stephen F. & Camilla T. Brauer Hall, 012
6548 Forest Park Pkwy, St. Louis, MO 63112, USA

Postdoctoral scholar with Professor Bozhi Tian at the Chemistry Department of the University of Chicago.


Precise surface engineering for advanced bio-thermal-fluidic technologies


Precise engineering of "non-covalent" surface interactions has a significant impact on biotechnology, energy, and manufacturing. A major challenge we are facing is how to probe such weak, atomic-scale interactions with macroscopic system, and subsequently translate the fundamental insights into tangible products that benefit sustainability and human health.

In this seminar, I will first present my surface designs that facilitate robust dropwise condensation, a goal pursued by the energy industry for almost a century but with limited progress. With new Van der Waals structures and vitrimer chemistry, my developed coatings can enhance the energy efficiency of steam-based power plants under harsh conditions for an unprecedented lifetime. These coatings are currently being tested and implemented in real power plants in Illinois.

Next, I will discuss my work in surface engineering that bridge thermofluids and bioelectronics for the development of biosensing technologies. I will introduce a condensation-integrated biosensing platform that can rapidly detect dilute airborne biomarkers. The portable and affordable system is convenient for daily usage, and benefits people in limited-resource areas. The platform can be utilized for important healthcare applications including pediatric care, early diagnosis of respiratory diseases, pain-free management of diabetes, and public health monitoring.

I will then focus on the fundamental aspects and introduce several new surface measurement apparatuses using “elasto-capillarity”. These apparatuses allow precise measurement of atomic-scale surface interactions on a macroscopic level, which reveal unexplored avenues in surface design and will provide valuable insights for biotechnology, energy, and manufacturing.

Event Type



McKelvey School of Engineering


Science & Technology



Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
Event Contact

Kyla Kordell, kkyla@wustl.edu

Speaker Information

Dr. Jingcheng Ma received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His Ph.D. research with Professor Nenad Miljkovic and Professor David G. Cahill focused on surface engineering for efficient condensation heat transfer that benefits the global energy landscape. His dissertation work earned him the 2022 UIUC Stanley I. Weiss Outstanding Dissertation Award and received coverage from multiple media outlets. Currently, he is working as a postdoctoral scholar with Professor Bozhi Tian at the Chemistry Department of the University of Chicago, where his research intersects thermofluids and biosensing for healthcare and environmental applications.

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