Romina Rodriguez received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and the PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from McMaster University. During her master’s she interned at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore in the Combustion Research Facility. Before starting her PhD, Romina worked at Northrop Grumman as a mechanical engineer in the Thermal Analysis and Design team as part of the Hardware engineering sector. In 2019, she completed her PhD thesis in automotive waste heat recovery through the utilization of thermoelectric generators. Currently, she works in the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) research group as a Postdoctoral Fellow investigating advanced thermal management of power electronics and electric machines.
Romina grew up in southern California where she discovered her interest in engineering from a very young age, through working with her father. This interest in tinkering with mechanical equipment and tools, as well as excelling in science and math motivated her to pursue engineering. Once arriving at UC Berkeley, she quickly became interested in studying mechanical engineering with applications in energy. While at Berkeley, she conducted undergraduate research in the Combustion and Fire Processes Laboratory (CFPL) investigating flammability of materials in microgravity. She also took part in a summer research program at MIT in the Sloan Automotive Laboratory where she characterized the elemental composition of ash in Diesel Particulate Filters.
After completing her B.S. from UC Berkeley, she continued to pursue her Master of Science degree, focusing on heat transfer and energy technology. During her master’s program, she interned as a graduate student researcher at the Combustion Research Facility at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California. Her project consisted of modeling a DISI engine to understand efficiency gains for different fuel injection timings. Besides focusing on her studies, Romina was very involved in STEM outreach programs as she views these efforts as the best way to motivate the next generation of engineers.
Romina worked in industry after her Masters, gaining a position at Northrop Grumman where she worked with an amazing team in the Thermal Analysis and Design group. During her time there, she gained invaluable work experience and was able to tackle many real-world engineering problems. While at Northrop, she was a mentor in the high school robotics outreach program and worked with highly motivated students to teach them about engineering through VEX robotics.
In 2019 Romina completed the PhD program at McMaster University in mechanical engineering. Her thesis investigated how to design a waste heat recovery system in vehicles using thermoelectric generators for maximum energy recovery, considering the transient system effects. While pursuing her PhD, she contributed to several industry-sponsored research projects that focused on thermal management of power electronics. Currently, she is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the McMaster Automotive Resource Centre (MARC), where her research focuses on advanced thermal management techniques for both power electronics and electric machines. She works on industry projects for both automotive and aerospace electrification applications, as well as mentors graduate students.