Dereje Agonafer

Dereje Agonafer

Jenkins Garrett Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington

MIT MLK Visiting Professor 2007-2008

Hosted by the Department of Mechanical Engineering

Dereje Agonafer is a Professor and Director of Electronics, MEMS, and Nanoelectronics Systems Packaging Center at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA).


Dereje Agonafer is a Professor and Director of Electronics, MEMS, and Nanoelectronics Systems Packaging Center at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). His research interests are: multidisciplinary focus on thermo/mechanical issues in microelectronics, MEMS and nanoelectronics with broad applications including computers, telecommunications and bio-fluidics.

Dr. Agonafer holds a PhD from Howard University and joined IBM. After 15 years at IBM, he joined the faculty at UTA.  Since 1999, he has graduated over 70 graduate students. In addition to a PhD program focusing in packaging, Dr. Agonafer established a certificate program in packaging in 2001. The Certificate in Electronic Packaging program provides graduate-level knowledge in the field of electronic packaging, with a concentration on numerical and experimental characterization of thermo/mechanical issues. For the five consecutive years, UTA honored Dr. Agnafer for his “strong record of external funding and scholarly achievement.”

He has published over 150 papers and has more than 10 issued patents. Dr. Agonafer served as Editor in Chief of ASME Press Book Series in Electronic Packaging; the ASME Heat Transfer Division; the Gordon and Breach Book Series in Electronic Packaging. He is former Technical Editor of the ASME Journal of Electronic Packaging and is on the Computer Aided Design in Electronic Packaging Committee. Dr. Agonafer he also been Guest Editor of special issues of The Journal of Electronic Packaging, The Journal of Heat Transfer, and IEEE’s Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology.

Dr. Agonafer has participated in numerous professional society meetings as session chair, panel moderator/panelist and conference leader. Since 2007, Dr. Agonafer has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of a NSF Center, Mid-Infrared Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE) at Princeton University since 2007. He is also on the Dean’s Engineering Advisory Committee at both the University of Colorado and Howard University.

In 1994, he led US delegates to the World Congress on Computational Mechanics in Chiba, Japan, to give an invited lecture. In 1997, he gave an invited lecture at Therminc Workshop in Cannes, France, and a keynote lecture at the 10th International Heat Pipe Conference in Stuggart, Germany.

Dr. Agonafer made headlines in 2012 when Facebook awarded UTA a $50,000 grant for a project whose aim is to make the social media site work faster. Led by Dr. Agonafer, the team’s goal is to quickly cool massive data centers for Facebook and 14 other large-scale corporations—which translates into savings in the millions for the companies involved.

Among his many accolades, the IEEE’s CPMT Society honored Dr. Agonafer with a 2014 iTherm Achievement Award for his “significant contributions made in thermal and thermomechanical management of electronics”. The award is presented biennially at the Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems.

Dr. Agonafer has taught a number of courses and seminars throughout the world. He is a Fellow of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers International (ASME) and Fellow of The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Between 2007 and 2008, he delivered seminars at Tufts University, North Eastern University, Harvard University, and MIT.

As an MLK Visiting Professor at MIT, he was hosted by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. In 2019, Dr. Agonafer was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.