Dr. Sreeram Vaddiraju is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University. He started working at the university in the fall of 2009. He received his academic training on the development of methods for the synthesis of both inorganic and organic nanostructures at various academic institutions and National Labs, including the University of Louisville, NASA Ames Research Center and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At these institutions, he worked on the development of a vapor phase method for the synthesis of transition metal and metal oxide nanowires, the development of a method for the self-catalytic growth of compound semiconductor nanowires, the fabrication of Infrared laser from sub-micron gallium antimonide nanowires, and the development of a novel technology for the fabrication of inorganic-organic hybrid light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Currently, a bulk of his research is focused on development of inexpensive and efficient nanowire-based renewable energy devices and systems (e.g., thermoelectrics, photovoltaics, photocatalytic systems for solar hydrogen production), and water disinfection technologies. Towards realizing his research vision of streamlining the production of nanowire-based energy conversion devices in a manner similar to that achieved with drug production by the pharmaceutical industry and integrated chip (IC) production by the electronics industry, he has achieved the following so far: accomplished the mass production of nanowires and their large-scale assembly in an interface-engineered manner into energy conversion devices; accomplished both the interface-engineered assembly of nanowires via welding, and the simultaneous consolidation and alignment of nanowires using equal channel angular extrusion (ECAE); demonstrated that it is possible to translate novel electrical and thermal transport properties exhibited of individual nanowires in large-scale nanowire assemblies (achieved a thermoelectric figure-of-merit value of 0.23 in bulk pellets composed of copper doped Zn3P2 nanowires, the highest reported for the Zn3P2 system, and 100 folds higher than its bulk counterpart; achieved a thermoelectric figure-of- merit value of 0.6 in Al and Ga dually doped ZnO nanowire bulk pellets, the highest achieved so far in the ZnO material system). He also demonstrated that these nanowire systems could be used to disinfect water of harmful bacteria, E.coli, in a rapid and inexpensive manner (on the order of a few minutes). More recently, he started forging new directions in corrosion research aimed at the real-time detection of microbiologically-influenced corrosion (MIC), and the development of multifunctional nanowire-based composites.
His research work has been/is currently being supported by the NSF/DOE thermoelectrics partnership, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the US department of Agriculture (USDA). Texas A&M University has recognized his efforts at excelling in teaching through a few awards, including the Fluor Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014 and a Phillips 66 First Year Faculty Fellowship in 2016.