Date of Award

Summer 8-20-2021

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering


Zhihe Jin

Second Committee Member

Richard Kimball

Third Committee Member

Carl Tripp

Additional Committee Members

Michael Peterson

Yingchao Yang


Thermoelectric materials are an enabling technology that has the potential to increase overall plant efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for shoreside power plants and for the marine industry. These materials do this by directly converting waste heat energy into usable electricity that could be harnessed for use on any existing electrical grid. This dissertation describes work done to understand, model, and investigate improvements to bismuth telluride and bismuth telluride antimony thermoelectric materials to better match the materials to available heat flux from industrial plants. Presented within this work are models to investigate homogenous materials, functionally graded materials, and segmented materials; as well as work developing a testing apparatus to evaluate the performance of physical materials. The testing apparatus was used to evaluate bismuth telluride P and N type couples and measure their nano to micro scale voltage and current outputs.