Principal Investigator

SNO_9970.jpgProf. Raphael St-Gelais joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ottawa as an Assistant Professor in January 2018. From 2016 to 2017, he was a postdoctoral researcher with Sankey lab at McGill University (Physics), where he studied the interplay of mechanics and nanoscale thermal radiation in ultra low loss mechanical resonators. From 2013 to 2016, he was a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Michal Lipson’s group at Cornell and Columbia Universities (Electrical Engineering), where he developed nanosystems for near-field radiative heat transfer control. From 2009 to 2012, he was a Ph.D. student at Polytechnique Montreal (Engineering Physics) where he worked on integrated optical sensors and MEMS-tunable optical components  He was awarded the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2009 for his Ph.D. work at Polytechnique Montreal as well as postdoctoral fellowships from FRQNT and NSERC for his work at Cornell & Columbia.

Current group members

MASc Students

alexAlexandre Bouchard (Mechanical Engineering): 2020/09 –

I obtained my B.A.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering (CO-OP) from the University of Ottawa in December 2020. Since January 2021, I am pursuing a M.A.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering under the supervision of Professor St-Gelais. My research aims to demonstrate radiative cooling of a silicone nitride membrane to create a thermal gradient with the ambient environment and explore practical applications (e.g., heat engine running on environmental heat). In my free time, I love to jam with my music instruments, exercise, and play golf!

Timothy Hodges tim(Mechanical Engineering): 2019/05 –

I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the university of Ottawa in April 2020. I’m now pursuing my Master’s degree in mechanical engineering and applied science under the supervision of Prof. St-Gelais, developing high Q-factor MEMS accelerometers. I like cycling, running and most importantly learning!

michelleMichel Stephan (Mechanical Engineering): 2021/06 –

I completed my B.A.Sc in Mechanical Engineering with an undergrad thesis on the athermalization of silicon nitride membranes in April 2021 under the supervision of Prof. St-Gelais. When I am not working on designing components and methods to enhance the mounting of silicon nitride membranes, I spend my time getting frustrated over repairing, modifying, and tuning cars as well as crafting and building anything that crosses my mind.

PhD Students

changChang Zhang (Mechanical Engineering): 2019/01 –

I worked on characterizing SiN membrane resonators for thermal radiation detection during my Master’s studies under the supervision of Prof. St-Gelais. During my Ph.D. studies, I am working on designing, fabricating, and characterizing high-temperature MEMS for near-field thermophotovoltaic applications.


Mathieu Giroux (Mechanical Engineering): 2019/09 –

I graduated from a bachelor in mechanical engineering at the University of Ottawa in April 2019.  During the last two years, I have been working on a near-field thermal radiation project as part of my Master’s degree in mechanical engineering and applied science under the supervision of Prof. St-Gelais. During my Ph.D studies, I work on PV cell design for near-field thermophotovoltaics.

Past group members


Huan Huang (Mechanical Engineering): 2018/11 – 2019/09
Project: Optical Characterization of directional MEMS microphones
Industrial collaborator: Soundskrit

MASc Students

Gengyang Mu (Mechanical Engineering): 2019/09 -2022/04

I finished my undergraduate career at the University of Ottawa in April 2019. From the following fall semester, I started my silicon nitride membrane fabrication and on-chip actuation system design project as my work for the Master of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering under the supervision of Prof. St-Gelais. Getting my hands on various nanofabrication processes is always the key to happiness in the work. Meanwhile, skiing is my favorite outdoor sport ever!

Dmytro Lomovtsev (Mechanical Engineering): 2020/01 – 2022/04

Dmytro obtained his B.A.Sc in Biomedical Mechanical Engineering/B.Sc Computing Technology from University of Ottawa in December 2019. He is pursuing M.A.Sc in Mechanical Engineering under co-supervision of Professor Raphael St-Gelais (Mechanical Engineering) and Professor Vincent Tabard-Cossa (Biophysics) developing a thermocycler for solid-state nanopore membranes. Whatever free time he doesn’t have, he enjoys both couch-dwelling as well as outdoorsy activities depending on the mood.

Nikaya Snell (Mechanical Engineering): 2019/09 – 2021/12

I graduated from the University of Ottawa’s Biomedical Mechanical Engineering and Computing Technology programs in December 2018. After taking some time off from school, I joined the lab in Fall 2019 and began working on investigating noise in silicon nitride membrane sensors under the supervision of Dr. Raphael St-Gelais. In my spare time I like to play volleyball and attempt to go rock climbing without falling too much.

Kevin Cheevers (Mechanical Engineering): 2018/10 -2021/04
Co-supervision with Prof. Matei Radulescu (Mechanical Engineering)
Project: Optical interferometer for localized shockwave structure characterization

Farbod Babaei (Electrical Engineering): 2018/06 – 2019/10
Project: Directional MEMS microphones
Industrial collaborator: Soundskrit

Undergraduate students

Chloé Richard(Chemical Engineering): 2019/09 –
Part-time volunteer
Project: Silicon nitride membranes fabrication

Ollaff Shilton (Electrical Engineering): 2019/08 – 2019/12
Visiting student from IME Brazil
Project: Driving electronics for MEMS oscillators

Albert Mu (Mechanical Engineering): 2019/01 – 2019/08

Chang Zhang (Mechanical Engineering): 2018/06 – 2019/12

Joao Bacelar (Electrical Engieering): 2018/08 – 2019/02
Visiting student from IME Brazil
Project: High-precision temperature sensing circuitry

Mathieu Giroux (Mechanical Engineering): 2019/01 – 2019/04

Théa Abdul Nour (Mechanical Engineeging): 2018/05 – 2019/04
Co-op & 4th year honors thesis student
Project: High-vacuum chamber design, assembly and characterization

Ras-Jeevan K. Obhi (Physics): 2018/05 – 2018/08
Project:  High voltage amplifier for high vacuum piezoelectric actuators

Group Pictures

2018-07-05 group picture.jpg
2018/07: Group unboxing of our brand new high-vacuum microsystems testing chamber. From left to right, Théa Abdul Nour (Undergrad, Mechanical Engineering), Ras-Jeevan Obhi (Undergrad, Physics), Farbod Babaei (MSc student, Electrical Engineering, co-supervision with Prof. Jeongwon Park), Chang Zhang (Undergrad, Mechanical Engineering).
2018/07: Hiking at Gatineau Park Lusk caves. From left to right: Farbod Babaei, Chang Zhang, Ras-Jeevan Ohbi, Théa Abdul Nour, Raphael St-Gelais
2019/10: Our group pretending to work for the picture. From left to right: Albert Mu, Mathieu Giroux, Tim Hodges, Raphael St-Gelais
2019/12: Moving to our awesome new lab space in uOttawa Advanced Research Complex (ARC). Everybody working except Raphael, taking pictures. From left to right: Ollaff Shilton, Albert Mu, Chang Zhang, Nikaya Snell, Mathieu Giroux’s back.
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