William (Hank) Paxton

R&D Engineer, Energy Efficiency, Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research

William (Hank) Paxton, PhD, is the Research and Development Engineer at the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research within the Speed School of Engineering. His research is focused primarily on the development of novel semiconducting materials and specializes in reactor design.

He obtained his doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 2013 focused on the utilization of diamond structures for the direct conversion of heat into electricity. He also obtained both his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering (2011) and a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Physics and Mathematics (2009) from Vanderbilt University. Paxton began a company, IOP Technologies, immediately following completion of his Ph.D. to commercialize his promising research from his graduate studies. He joined the Conn Center in 2015.

Paxton is the author/co-author of over 8 original research papers and currently has three patents pending in areas ranging from energy conversion to the design of industrial production reactors. He is currently involved in the design, implementation, and validation of several material deposition systems including: Halide Vapor Phase Epitaxy (HPVE) and Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) for the creation of various, next generation III-V semiconductors; Microwave Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (MPCVD) for the growth of diamond/carbon films and nanostructures; grid-scale energy storage techniques; and conversion of biomass into fuels.

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