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Agonafer Wins IBM Faculty Award

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dereje Agonafer, a mechanical engineering professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, has won an IBM Faculty Award.

Dereje AgonaferThe award, which is accompanied by a $30,000 donation, recognizes Agonafer’s sustained collaborations with IBM and the industry, especially in the area of contaminants in electronics cooling systems.

“This is a very prestigious and competitive award. It will help my lab financially and bring greater visibility to our research here at UTA. I’m honored to have been recognized by IBM in such a way,” Agonafer said.

Agonafer is an expert in energy efficiency through cooling of computer servers. One issue facing researchers is how to clean outside air of gaseous and particulate contaminants and especially when using airside economization which is a very energy efficient approach. Agonafer’s lab has taken a leadership role in working with IBM’s P.J. Singh, a world renowned expert in particulate and gaseous contamination, to learn the effects of contaminants on data center hardware, as well as how to mitigate the contaminants..

In addition, Agonafer and his team have developed a strong relationship with IBM and published numerous papers with Dr. Roger Schmidt, an IBM Fellow.

“Prof. Agonafer’s research in semiconductor thermal management and electronic packaging bridges the gap between academic research and industry needs. IBM’s superb recognition echoes his standing with Facebook, Microsoft, and CommScope.  His leadership of the NSF/University Cooperative Research Center in Energy Efficient Systems reflects his focus on the relevance of academic research and preparedness of our graduates,” said MAE Department Chair Erian Armanios.