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Thomas Cooper

Associate Professor


Mechanical Engineering


Dr. Thomas Cooper received his BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and his MSc and DrSc in Mechanical Engineering from ETH Zurich. Prior to joining the Mechanical Engineering faculty at the Lassonde School of Engineering, Dr. Cooper was a postdoctoral associate in the NanoEngineering group at MIT. His research unites the fields of thermal science, optics, and materials, with the goal of realizing new systems for efficiently harvesting solar energy and converting it into useful forms: electricity, heat, and fuels. He received the ASME Solar Energy Graduate Student Award, the ETH Medal, the Hans Eggenberger Prize, and the Chorafas Prize for his work on low-cost solar energy technologies. He is also a recipient of PGS-M and PGS-D Fellowships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and an Early Postdoc Mobility Fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Research Interests

  • Solar concentrators
  • Solar absorber materials
  • Solar thermal desalination devices

Selected Publications

  • F. Dähler, M. Wild, R. Schäppi, P. Haueter, T. Cooper, P. Good, C. Larrea, M. Schmitz, P. Furler and A. Steinfeld, “Optical design and experimental characterization of a solar concentrating dish system for fuel production via thermochemical redox cycles,”
  • G. Ni, S. H. Zandavi, S. M. Javid, S. V. Boriskina, T. Cooper, and G. Chen, “A salt-rejecting floating solar still for low-cost desalination,” Energy & Environmental Science, 11 (6), pp. 1510-1519, 2018.
  • S. V. Boriskina, T. A. Cooper, L. Zheng, G. Ni, J. K. Tong, Y. Tsurimaki, Y. Huang, L. Meroueh, G. Mahan, and G. Chen, “Losses in plasmonics: from mitigating energy dissipation to embracing loss-enabled functionalities,” Advances in Optics and Photonics,
  • T. Cooper, G. Ambrosetti, F. Malnati, A. Pedretti, and A. Steinfeld, “Experimental demonstration of high-concentration photovoltaics on a parabolic trough using tracking secondary optics,” Progress in Photovoltaics 24 (11), pp. 1410-1426, 2016.
  • T. Cooper, J. R. Scheffe, M. E. Galvez, R. Jacot, G. Patzke, and A. Steinfeld, “Lanthanum manganite perovskites with Ca/Sr A-site and Al B-site doping as effective oxygen exchange materials for solar thermochemical fuel production,” Energy Technology 3, p
  • T. Cooper, M. Schmitz, P. Good, G. Ambrosetti, A. Pedretti, and A. Steinfeld, “Nonparabolic solar concentrators matching the parabola,” Optics Letters 39 (15), pp. 4301-4304, 2014.
  • T. Cooper, G. Ambrosetti, A. Pedretti, and A. Steinfeld, “Theory and design of line-to-point focus solar concentrators with tracking secondary optics,” Applied Optics 52 (35), pp. 8586-8616, 2013.