Zhiting Tian

Zhiting Tian

Associate Professor
Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Upson Hall, Room 363
Eugene A. Leinroth Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow


Dr. Zhiting Tian joined the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering on July 1, 2018, with the added title of Eugene A. Leinroth Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow. Between 2014 and 2018, she was an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Macromolecules Innovation Institute at Virginia Tech.

Research Interests

Micro/nanoscale heat transfer, thermal energy conversion and storage, thermal management, multiscale thermal transport in organic, inorganic, and hybrid materials.

Teaching Interests

Introduction to Mechanical Engineering, Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Nanoscale Energy Transport and Conversion, Future Energy Systems, Atomistic Modeling of Materials

Selected Publications

  • H. Ma, E. O’Donnel, and Z.T. Tian, “Tunable Thermal Conductivity of π-Conjugated Dubbed Porous Graphene”, Nanoscale 10, 13924-13929 (2018)
  • C. Li, Y.W. Ma, and Z.T. Tian, “Thermal Switching of Thermoresponsive Polymer Aqueous Solutions”, ACS Macro Letters 7, 53-58 (2018)
  • H. Ma and Z.T. Tian, “Significantly High Thermal Rectification in an Asymmetric Polymer Molecule Driven by Diffusive versus Ballistic Transport”, Nano Letters 18, 43-48 (2018)
  • E. Kanimba, M. Pearson, J. Sharp, D. Stokes, S. Priya, and Z.T. Tian, “A modeling comparison between a two-stage and three-stage cascaded thermoelectric generator,” Journal of Power Sources 365, 266-272 (2017)
  • H. Ma, C. Li, S. Tang, J. Yan, A. Alatas, L. Lindsay, B. Sales, and Z.T. Tian, “Boron arsenide phonon dispersion from inelastic x-ray scattering: potential for ultrahigh thermal conductivity”, Physical Review B: Rapid Communications 94, 220303 (R) (2016)


Selected Awards and Honors

  • Fellow of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) 2020
  • PMSE Young Investigator 2019
  • MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators under 35 China 2019
  • College of Engineering Faculty Fellow, Virginia Tech 2018
  • Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award 2018
  • NSF CAREER Award 2017
  • ACS Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award 2017
  • College of Engineering Outstanding New Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech 2017
  • 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award 2017
  • Scholar of the Week, Office of Vice President for Research, Virginia Tech 2016
  • College of Engineering Undergraduate Research Advisor Award, Virginia Tech 2016



  • B.E. Engineering Physics, Tsinghua University, China 2007
  • M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Binghamton University 2009
  • Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, MIT 2014