Hometown: East Greenwich, RI
Major: Electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering
Matin Amani’s big idea is recycling… recycling the heat from jet engines, that is, to power sensors that monitor the performance of jet engines in their harsh, risk-laden environment. And he’s been working side-by-side with URI Distinguished Engineering Professor Otto Gregory to do exactly that. Apparently NASA thinks it’s a pretty good idea, because it has been funding the work that Professor Gregory and his team of researchers are doing inside URI’s Sensors and Surface Technology laboratory for more than 20 years.
But that’s not all. Matin’s also been part of a team working with the U.S. Air Force and Mesoscribe, Inc. to develop a way to embed jet engine temperature sensors into thermal barrier coatings used on turbine blades, and with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to develop a gas sensor to detect triacetone triperoxide, one of the new explosives components used by terrorists in improvised explosive devices.
All that at URI? Really? Well, yes. In fact, especially at URI, where Matin says, “I get the opportunity to go off on my own and figure stuff out and play around with the equipment. It’s just fun here.” Professor Gregory says his goal is to provide the kind of environment where undergraduate and graduate students like Matin can blossom and make real contributions to meaningful work with the potential to keep people safer around the world.
By the time he graduated with three bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree – all in five years – he’d presented his research at more than a dozen international engineering conferences and published eight research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Now Matin’s heading off to work on his doctorate after a summer at the Army Research Lab in Maryland where he’s been continuing the work he started at URI.