The CooperLab conducts fundamental and applied renewable energy research. With a current focus on solar thermal technology, our research spans the fields of thermal science, optics, and materials to develop new pathways and devices for transforming sunlight into useful forms, including electricity, heat, clean water, and renewable fuels. Our research also touches on complementary fields including energy storage, advanced thermal insulation materials, and advanced thermal characterization techniques.
Our three main research thrust areas are: solar concentrators; solar absorber materials; and solar thermal desalination devices. Through theoretical analysis, numerical simulation, and experimentation, we aim to advance the fundamental knowledge in these areas to strive towards more efficient and cost-effective solar thermal systems. Our contributions in these areas are underpinned by specialization in nonimaging optics, optical properties measurement, heat transfer, and thermodynamics of photothermal and thermochemical processes.
Read more about our current research areas and active projects here.
Thomas Alan Cooper
Assistant Professor, Head of CooperLab
2015-2018 | Postdoc | MIT | Mechanical Engineering
2014 | Dr.Sc. | ETH Zurich | Mechanical Engineering
2010 | M.Sc. | ETH Zurich | Mechanical Engineering
2008 | B.A.Sc. | University of Toronto | Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Cooper joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at York University in 2018. He received his PhD and MSc from ETH Zurich in 2014 and 2010 respectively, and his BASc from the University of Toronto in 2008. His research at ETH focused on the development of novel optical concepts for concentrating photovoltaics, and new materials for solar fuel production through two-step thermochemical H2O and CO2 splitting. Prior to joining Lassonde, Dr. Cooper was a postdoc at MIT, where his research targeted the development of nanoporous materials with tailored optical and thermal properties for solar energy applications.