Patrick Hopkins


Co-founder and CSO of ThinTherm, LLC and an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia.  Patrick has been involved in research related to thermophysical measurements of materials, and optical testing of material since 2002.

Patrick received his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia in 2008. His dissertation research was focused on developed pulsed laser-based diagnostics to measure reflectivity, temperature and energy transfer in solid materials.  Prior to his PhD, Patrick graduated from the University of Virginia with majors in Mechanical Engineering and Physics.

After his Ph.D., Patrick was one of two researchers in the nation to receive a Truman Fellowship from Sandia National Laboratories.  Under this Fellowship, Patrick worked at Sandia in Albuquerque, NM from 2008 – 2011 developing novel optical reflectivity and transmissivity-based diagnostics to measure temperature and thermophysical processes in solid nanosystems and across interfaces adjacent to solid and liquids.

In 2011, Patrick returned to the University of Virginia as an Assistant Professor, and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2015.  Patrick’s current research interests are in optical interactions with matter, experimental quantification of non-linear optical absorption in materials in relation to defect, porosity, impurity, and degradation processes, and measurements of thermophysical processes in condensed matter, soft materials, liquids, vapors and their interfaces in extreme environments. Patrick’s groups at the University of Virginia use various optical thermometry-based experiments to measure the optical properties, non-linear absorption, thermal conductivity, thermal boundary conductance, thermal accommodation, strain propagation and sound speed, and electron, phonon, and vibrational scattering mechanisms in a wide array of bulk materials and nanosystems.