• Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, 1999
  • M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, 1995
  • B.S., Florida State University, 1993

Research Areas and Descriptors

  • Micro and Nano Engineering; Microscale heat transfer, thermophysical properties, nanostructured materials, nanodevices, and device reliability.


Samuel Graham is the Eugene C. Gwaltney, Jr. Professor and Chair of the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He also leads the Electronics Manufacturing and Reliability Laboratory, which focuses on the development of wide bandgap semiconductors and flexible electronics. He holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech, joint appointments with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and is a Visiting Professor at Nagoya University in Nagoya, Japan working with Prof. Hiroshi Amano to develop future GaN power electronics. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Engineering Sciences Research Foundation Advisory Board of Sandia National Laboratories. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Florida State University (1993) and his MS (1995) and PhD (1999) degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology. 


Dr. Graham's research focuses on the fabrication, packaging, and reliability of electronic devices.  In this work, his group has expertise in the thermal analysis and reliability of GaN based wide bandgap semiconductors used in RF communications, solid state lighting, and power electronics.  His group develops experimental techniques to measure the temperature and stress distribution in these devices down to the individual transistor level.  In addition, they investigate the thermophysical properties and thermal interface resistance between the wide bandgap semiconductors and their substrates such as SiC, Si, and diamond.  Coupled electro-thermal and thermomechanical modeling of these devices are used under both DC and transient timescales to understand the performance of these devices.  Finally, methods to effective remove the heat from these devices using single phase and two phase cooling are under investigation.  His group has strong industrial and DoD ties in this area of research.

In addition to wide bandgap devices, the Graham group is also working on packaging and reliability of organic electronics and flexible electronic devices.  His group has developed expertise in the creation of ultra-barrier film technology based on vacuum deposited thin films for the hermetic sealing of electronics which has industrial relevance to next generation displays and wearable devices.  His group is investigating the mass transport through barrier films along with the mechanics of the films (fracture, adhesion, etc.) and chemical resistance is important for the fabrication of thin film and flexible electronics for harsh environments.  The Graham group regularly collaborates with the Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics in this area of research ( and is part of the NextFlex Consortium.

Dr. Graham also holds a joint appointment in the Energy and Transportation Sciences Division of Oak Ridge National laboratory where he works jointly with ORNL staff on energy related research.  This includes the fundamental studies of the properties of nano materials and how they can be exploited in building energy systems, materials for energy storage, and the improvements to energy efficiency in thermodyanmic cycles.  The goal is to exploit the unique properties of materials to advance the energy efficiency and effectiveness of buildings and transportation systems.


  • Joseph H. Anderer Faculty Fellow, 2008-2013
  • National Academy of Engineering U. S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, 2007
  • National Science Foundation
    • Faculty Early Career Development Award, 2005-2010
    • Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science Grant, 2003
  • Society of Manufacturing Engineers International M. Eugene Merchant Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, 2004

Representative Publications

  • J. Lee, et al., 2007. Thermal Conduction From Microcantilever Heaters in Partial Vacuum. Journal of Applied Physics, 101, 014906-1014906-6.
    Selected for republication in the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology 15(3), 2007.; T. Beechem, et al., 2007. The Role of Interface Disorder on Thermal Boundary Resistance Using A Virtual Crystal Approach. Applied Physics Letters, in-press.
  • M. Abel, et al., 2007. Raman Thermometry of Polysilicon MEMS in the Presence of an Evolving Stress. Journal of Heat Transfer, in press.
  • A. Allen, et al., 2006. Nanomaterial Transfer Using Hot Embossing For Flexible Electronic Devices. Applied Physics Letters 88, 083112083114.
    Selected for republication in the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology 13(9), 2006.