Dr. Eric Matthys, 2011-2012 Champion

Dr. Eric Matthys completed an Engineer degree in both Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at the Ecole Polytechnique of the Brussels University in Belgium. He then carried out Master and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, after which he joined UCSB in 1985.

His interest in energy efficiency has led him to introduce new classes, many of which feature student team projects on topics such as: the design of renewable power generation and the analysis and improvement of existing energy-intensive user systems.

He has also introduced Freshman Seminars where he teaches students about Alternative and Renewable Energy sources, and the complexities of the interactions between economics, availability, and environmental constraints and limitations.

Professor Matthys’ research includes:

  • Bioengineering projects aimed at solving energy problems through the use of natural bioproducts. The applications of this work include making fuel from algae.
  • Fluid additives aimed at reducing the energy spent during fluid transport in pipelines.
  • Reducing pumping power consumption for industrial applications including HVAC systems in buildings. He has successfully field tested some of these ideas in UCSB buildings.
  • Investigations of thermal issues in Concentrated Solar Power devices for electricity, heat, and potable water production.