Contact InformationJohn Wen

Phone: 519-888-4567 x38362
Location: E3 3151


Biography Summary

John Z. Wen is a Professor with the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering and is cross-appointed to the Chemical Engineering department at the University of Waterloo. He is also the Director of the Laboratory for Emerging Energy Research at the university and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME) and the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineering (CSME).

Professor Wen’s areas of research expertise are in energetic nanomaterials, biofuel combustion, CO2 capture and storage, emission of particulate matters, energy utilization and storage technologies, and nanotechnology-based energy devices. His research interests include biomass gasification, the synthesis, characterization and applications of nanomaterial, the development of nanothermite and energetic nanocomposites, and the EPD fabrication of nanotube and nanowire based electrodes for advanced energy devices.

Professor Wen teaches several upper year Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering courses, Systems Design Engineering courses, as well as courses in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Research Interests

  • Nanotechnology for energy
  • Nanomaterial synthesis and characterization
  • Alternative fuels and renewable energy resources
  • Combustion science and technology
  • Micro- and nano-scale transport phenomena
  • Fabrication of nanostructured electrodes
  • Application of energetic nanomaterials
  • Density functional theory and molecular dynamics
  • Electro-chemical energy storage devices
  • Supercapacitors and dye sensitized solar cells
  • Biomass gasification
  • Biofuel combustion
  • CO2 capture and storage
  • Synthesis
  • characterization and applications of nanomaterial
  • Developing nanothermite and energetic nanocomposites
  • EPD fabrication of nanotube and nanowire based electrodes for advanced energy devices


  • 2007, Postdoctoral, NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2005, Doctorate, Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto
  • 2002, Master of Applied Science, Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto
  • 1992, Bachelor's, Power Engineering, Harbin Engineering University


  • ME 201 - Advanced Calculus
    • Taught in 2019, 2020
  • ME 250 - Thermodynamics 1
    • Taught in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • ME 353 - Heat Transfer 1
    • Taught in 2019, 2020
  • ME 659 - Energy and Environment
    • Taught in 2016, 2017, 2018
  • ME 760 - Special Topics in Thermal Eng
    • Taught in 2020
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • X. Zhang, K.D. Oakes, D. Luong, J.Z. Wen, C.D. Metcalfe, J. Pawliszyn and M.R. Servos (2010) Time-resolved solid-phase microextraction: measurement of real-time concentrations with a dynamic system, Analytical Chemistry 82: 9492-9499. (Accepted in 2010)
  • X-Y Zhang, A. Hu, J.Z. Wen, T. Zhang, X-J Xue, Y.N., Zhou and W.W Duley (2010) Numerical analysis of deep sub-wavelength integrated plasmonic devices based on semiconductor-insulator-metal strip waveguides, Optics Express 18: 18945-18959. (Accepted in 2010)
  • N.H. Nguyen, A. Hu, J. Persic and J.Z. Wen, Molecular dynamics simulation of energetic aluminum/palladium core-shell nanoparticles, Chemical Physics Letters. DOI: 10.1016/j.cplett.2010.12.074 (Accepted in 2010)
  • N.H. Nguyen, H. Richter and J.Z. Wen, Molecular dynamics simulation of iron nanoparticle sintering during flame synthesis, Journal of Nanopartical Research. DOI: 10.1007/s11051-010-0082-4 (Accepted in 2010)
  • J. Wang, A. Hu, J. Persic, J.Z. Wen and Y.N. Zhou, Thermal stability and reaction properties of passivated nano-thermite, submitted. (Submitted in 2010)

Graduate Studies