Juan Pablo Trelles

Juan Pablo Trelles

Associate Professor, Director of the Renewable Energy Engineering Program

Francis College of Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
(978) 934-4973
(978) 934-3048
Dandeneau Hall - 225


Sustainable energy engineering, solar energy processing, plasma science & engineering, semiconductor manufacturing, radiation transport, computational transport phenomena

Research Interests

renewable energy, sustainable energy, solar energy, sustainable chemical synthesis, plasma science and engineering, computational fluid dynamics, computational modeling, advanced manufacturing

thermal plasmas, non-thermal plasmas, semiconductor manufacturing, finite element methods, hybrid fluid - particle methods, turbulence, large eddy simulation, variational multiscale methods, nonequilibrium phenomena


  • Ph D: Mechanical Engineering, (2007), University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Supporting Area: Aerospace Engineering
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: “Finite Element Modeling of Flow Instabilities in Arc Plasma Torches”
  • MS: Energy Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, (2003), University of Massachusetts Lowell - Lowell, Massachusetts
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: “Numerical Analysis of Latent Heat Thermal Energy Storage for Solar Thermoelectric Vaccine Refrigeration”
  • BS: Mechanical Engineering, (2001), Universidad Nacional de Ingenierêa - Lima, Peru
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: “Modeling and Design Optimization of a Biogas Carburetor”


Dr. Trelles joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2012. At UMass Lowell, he conducts computational and experimental research focused on the development of devices and processes for renewable energy generation and advanced manufacturing. Before joining the faculty at UMass Lowell, Dr. Trelles was a senior software engineer in the Department of Process Technology Modeling at Intel Corporation. His doctoral and post-doctoral research, conducted at the High Temperature and Plasma Laboratory at the University of Minnesota, involved the fundamental and applied study of flow instabilities and non-equilibrium processes in thermal plasma devices. Dr. Trelles’ previous research experience includes the design of Solar Energy devices and systems for remote rural areas and for electricity generation from biogas.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Early Career Research Award (2017) - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science
  • CAREER Award (2015) - U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Logic Technology Development Division Award (2011) - Technology Manufacturing Group, Intel Corporation
  • Best Dissertation Award Nominee (2009) - University of Minnesota
  • Design and Technology Solutions Division Award (2009) - Technology Manufacturing Group, Intel Corporation
  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2006) - University of Minnesota
  • First-Rate of Civil Service of the State (2001) - Peruvian distinction, granted by the government of Malvas, Perú

Selected Publications

  • Chazeles, C., Trelles, J.P., Choquet, J., Vardelle, A. (2017). Main issues for a fully predictive plasma spray torch model and numerical considerations.
  • Bhatta, S., Nagassou, D., Trelles, J. (2017). Solar photo-thermochemical reactor design for carbon dioxide processing. Solar Energy, 142 253–266.
  • Modirkhazeni, S.M., Trelles, J.P. (2016). Algebraic approximation of sub-grid scales for the variational multiscale modeling of transport problems. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 306 276–298.
  • Trelles, J.P. (2016). Finite Element Methods for Arc Discharge Simulation. Plasma Processes and Polymers, 14(1-2) 1600092.
  • Gautier, M., Rohani, V., Fulcheri, L., Trelles, J.P. (2016). Influence of temperature and pressure on carbon black size distribution during allothermal cracking of methane. Aerosol Science and Technology, 50(1) 26–40.
  • Trelles, J.P. (2016). Pattern formation and self-organization in plasmas interacting with surfaces. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 49(39) 393002.
  • Vardelle, A., Moreau, C., Akedo, J., Ashrafizadeh, H., Berndt, C.C., Berghaus, J.O., Boulos, M., Brogan, J., Bourtsalas, A.C., Dolatabadi, A., others, . (2016). The 2016 Thermal Spray Roadmap. Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, 25(8) 1–65.
  • Chazelas, C., Trelles, J.P., Vardelle, A. (2016). The Main Issues to Address in Modeling Plasma Spray Torch Operation. Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, 1-9, 26(1) 3-11.
  • Trelles, J.P. (2016). Modeling and Simulation of Nonequilibrium Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Flows. American Vacuum Society AVS 63rd International Symposium & Exhibition
  • Modir Khazeni, S.M., Trelles, J.P. (2016). Preliminary Results of a Consistent and Complete Approach for the Coarse-Grained Simulation of Turbulent Nonequilibrium Plasmas. Gordon Research Conference on Plasma Processing Science
  • Chazelas, C., Vardelle, A., Trelles, J.P. (2016). The main issues to address in modeling plasma spray torch operation. 2016 International Thermal Spray Conference (ITSC 2016)
  • Trelles, J.P. (2015). Emergence of self-organized patterns in arc discharges by anode cooling (pp. Plasma Science and Applications Committee (PSAC); Pulsed Power Science and Technology (PPS and T) Committee - ). ICOPS/BEAMS 2014 - 41st IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science and the 20th International Conference on High-Power Particle Beams
  • Castro, R.O., Trelles, J.P. (2015). Spatial and angular finite element method for radiative transfer in participating media. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 157 81 - 105.
  • Trelles, J., Modirkhazeni, S. (2014). Variational multiscale method for nonequilibrium plasma flows. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 282 87-131.
  • Trelles, J. (2014). Electrode patterns in arc discharge simulations: Effect of anode cooling. Plasma Sources Science and Technology, 23(5).
  • Trelles, J. (2014). Identification of coherent flow structures in nonequilibrium plasmas. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 42(10) 2852-2853.
  • Arakoni, R.A., Trelles, J.P., Kim, D., Khabibullin, M., Nikonov, S., Zierath, D. (2011). “Feature-Scale Modeling of Diffusion Barrier and Metal Seed Physical Vapor Deposition Processes”. AVS 58th International Symposium & Exhibition
  • Trelles, J.P. (2011). “Non-Equilibrium Thermal Plasma Jet Impinging on a Substrate”. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 39(11) 2870-2871.
  • Trelles, J.P., Liao, S.S. (2011). “Fluid Flow Effects in ALD for Semiconductor Manufacturing” (pp. 84). 11th International Conference on Atomic Layer Deposition
  • Trelles, J.P., Heberlein, J.V., Pfender, E. (2008). The reattachment process in nonequilibrium arc simulations. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 36(4) 1024-1025.
  • Trelles, J.P., Pfender, E., Heberlein, J.V. (2008). Thermal nonequilibrium simulation of an arc plasma jet. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, 36(4) 1026-1027.
  • Trelles, J.P., Pfender, E., Heberlein, J. (2008). “Three-Dimensional Finite Element Modeling of Dynamic Arc Behavior in a DC Plasma Torch” (pp. 277). IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science
  • Trelles, J.P., Pfender, E., Heberlein, J.R. (2008). “Three-Dimensional Time-Dependent Non- Equilibrium Modeling of Arc and Jet Dynamics in DC Plasma Torches”. IEEE 35th International Conference on Plasma Science
  • Trelles, J.P., Heberlein, J.R. (2008). “Simulation Results of Arc Behavior in Different Plasma Spray Torches”. ASM International Thermal Spray Conference & Exposition
  • Trelles, J.P., Pfender, E., Heberlein, J.V. (2007). Modelling of the arc reattachment process in plasma torches. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 40(18) 5635-5648.
  • Trelles, J.P., Pfender, E., Heberlein, J.R. (2007). “Comparison Between Non-Equilibrium and Equilibrium Modeling Results of an Arc Plasma Torch” (pp. 6). American Physical Society (APS) 60th Gaseous Electronics Conference
  • Trelles, J.P., Pfender, E., Heberlein, J.R. (2007). “Finite Element Modeling of the Arc Reattachment Process in DC Plasma Torches” (pp. 81). IEEE Pulsed Power and Plasma Science Conference
  • Trelles, J.P., Pfender, E., Heberlein, J. (2006). Multiscale finite element modeling of arc dynamics in a DC plasma torch. Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing, 26(6) 557-575.
  • Trelles, J.P. (2006). “Simulation Results of Arc Behavior in Different Plasma Spray Torches”. Journal of Thermal Spray Technology, 15 563-569.
  • Trelles, J.P., Pfender, E., Heberlein, J.V. (2006). “3D Finite Element Modeling of Arc and Jet Dynamics in a DC Plasma Torch”. APS 59th Gaseous Electronics Conference
  • Heberlein, J., Trelles, J.P., Outcalt, D., Hallberg, M., Strykowski, P., Pfender, E. (2006). “Control of Fluid Dynamic Instabilities in Plasma Torches – Key to Reproducible Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Spray Coatings”. 10th International Conference on Plasma Surface Engineering
  • Trelles, J.P., Duffy, J.J. (2004). Numerical simulation of porous latent heat thermal energy storage for thermoelectric cooling (Applied Thermal Engineering (2003) 23:13 (1647-1664) PII: S135943110300108X, DOI: 10.1016/S1359-4311(03)00108-X). Applied Thermal Engineering, 24(14-15) 2301.

Selected Presentations

  • “Arc Dynamics in Plasma Torches” - Symposium on Plasma Science and Technology in Honor of Professor Joachim V. R. Heberlein, March 2013 - Minneapolis, MN
  • “Non-thermal Gasification of Biomass and Urban Waste” - Global CleanTech Meet-Up, October 2012 - Boston & Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • “Multi-Scale Methods for Plasma Simulation”, September 2012 - Lowell, MA
  • “Atomic Layer Deposition in Semiconductor Manufacturing”, November 2011 - Vancouver, WA
  • “Understanding Clean Energy: From Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics to Sustainable Design”, May 2011 - Lowell, MA
  • “Finite Element Modeling of Thermal Plasma Flow”, August 2007 - Hillsboro, OR
  • “Stabilized Finite Element Modeling of Plasma Flow Instabilities”, December 2006 - Albuquerque, NM
  • “Service-Learning in Action: The Peru Project”, October 2005 - Minneapolis, MN

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • "Nonequilibrium Phenomena in Plasmas in Contact with Liquids" (DE-SC0018230) (2017), Grant - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
    Trelles, J.P. (Principal)
  • "CAREER: Sustainable Chemical Synthesis by Plasma-Enhanced Solar Energy” (CBET-1552037) (2016), Grant - National Science Foundation (NSF)
    Trelles, J.P. (Principal)
  • "Clean Energy Innovation Institute (CEII)" (2017), Grant - University of Massachusetts (UMass)
    Niezriecki, C. (Principal), Agar, E. (Co-Investigator), Aghara, S. (Co-Investigator), Mack, J. (Co-Investigator), Thomas, W. (Co-Investigator), Trelles, J.P. (Co-Investigator),
  • "SPACE HAUC: Science Program Around Communication Engineering with High Achieving Undergraduate Cadres" (2016), Grant - National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    Cook, T. (Principal), Hansen, C.J. (Co-Investigator), Trelles, J.P. (Co-Investigator),
  • “Multi-scale Approach for the Comprehensive Modeling and Simulation of Non-Equilibrium Atmospheric-Pressure Turbulent Plasma Flows” (PHY-1301935) (2013), Grant - National Science Foundation (NSF)
    Trelles, J.P. (Principal)
  • “Plasma Chamber CFD Modeling” (2013), Contract - Boxer Industries Inc.
    Trelles, J.P. (Principal)