After growing up in Redmond, WA, Adam Neugebauer received his BS in Materials Science and Engineering from UC Berkeley. Upon graduating in 2000, he worked for about four years for a small materials testing and failure analysis laboratory in Hayward, CA. Here he took on projects ranging from quality assurance testing of steel castings, leading and documenting legal testing, analyzing failed medical devices, in-situ testing at oil refineries and (his personal favorite) inspecting retrofits done on the underside of the Golden Gate Bridge. Then in 2004, Adam began working at an energy efficiency consulting firm out of Stockton, CA. Among other projects, he managed a few emerging technology installation programs, performed market and code analyses for various industry stakeholders and participated in state codes and standards rulemaking.
When Adam came to MIT as an SMBT student in the fall of 2012, he joined an interdisciplinary team led by Profs. Leon Glicksman (PI), Lorna Gibson and Gang Chen (and in partnership with the DuPont-MIT Alliance) with the goal of developing high-performance thermal insulation panels based on a formulation of silica aerogels developed at MIT. The aerogel samples perform better than commercially available products while requiring less material; meanwhile, the innovative panel design provides great structural support with minimal impact to the conductivity. Adam's research has included thermal conductivity testing of monolithic and granular samples under a variety of conditions, prototyping of potential sandwich panel design elements and analytically characterizing of barrier films. Upon graduating, Adam is looking forward to returning to the energy efficiency industry.