Akash Patil

Akash Patil Profile Picture
Home Department:
Civil Enginnering

Mentor / Lab:
Dr. Joseph Sinfield, Innovation Science Laboratory

Specific Research Area / Project:
Innovation and Innovation Ecosystems

Lab / Personal work-related websites:

Research Profile:

Ever wondered why so many innovations come out of Silicon Valley? Me too! And to seek answer to that question, I am working on the emerging topic of “Innovation Ecosystems.” Well, to understand innovation ecosystems, first I need to understand innovation itself. Bringing together insights from different fields of Semiotics (look it up; it is a fascinating field), Design, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, I am looking at journeys of multiple innovators to understand “how they built it”. Coming back to the topic of innovation ecosystems, I am taking a Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) perspective to build an understanding of these systems. To take it a step further, once we understand what innovation ecosystems are, I also want to understand how to jump start them in developing countries as a means of growth and development.

Akash Patil Research Picture

About Me:

I am a highly curious person who is always looking to learn the “new new thing.” During my B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering at IIT Bombay, I got interested in thermal sciences. Considering Purdue’s reputation for engineering and the breadth of disciplines it offered, I decided to come to the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories at Purdue. During my MS at the Herrick Labs, I researched a lot on HVAC systems to try and make them more efficient.

Having worked on considerable number of engineering problems, my curiosity drove me into the realm of complex socio-economic-technical problems, and I was looking for ways to enhance my problem-solving skillset. Realizing that problems of tomorrow cannot be solved by solutions of yesterday, I began my PhD with a research focus on the emerging topic of innovation ecosystems with Dr. Joseph Sinfield. At the same time, I also got involved with ESE to interact with different schools of thought. This freedom beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines has greatly influenced my thought process as well as my research philosophy.

Ultimately, I am interested in solving and enabling others to solve complex socio-economic-technical problems to make the world a better place. By making the ideas of innovation more accessible to people, I am interested in seeing different possibilities that lie in front of us in the future!


  • 3rd Position - Best Student Paper, International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference, 2016.


  • Patil, Akash, Hjortland, Andrew L., Braun, James E., Horton, W. Travis, and Kurtulus, Orkan. "Development and Evaluation of an Automated Virtual Refrigerant Charge Sensor Training Kit." International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference, 2016.
  • Patil, Akash, Hjortland, Andrew L., Cheng, Li, Dhillon, Parveen, Braun, James E, and Horton, W. Travis. "Load-based Testing to Characterize the Performance of Variable-Speed Equipment." International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference, 2018.
  • Cheng, Li, Patil, Akash, Dhillon, Parveen, Braun, James E, and Horton, W. Travis. "Impact of Virtual Building Model and Thermostat Installation on Performance and Dynamics of Variable-Speed Equipment during Load-based Tests." International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference, 2018.
  • Dhillon, Parveen, Patil, Akash, Cheng, Li, Braun, James E, and Horton, W. Travis. "Performance Evaluation of Heat Pump Systems Based on a Load-based Testing Methodology." International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference, 2018.
  • Catrini, Pietro, Braun, James E, Piacentino, Antonio, Hjortland, Andrew L., and Patil, Akash.
  • "Thermo-economic Diagnosis of Air Conditioning Systems: Experimental Assessment of Performance and New Developments for Improved Reliability." International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference, 2018.


  • Lack of affordable refrigeration options contributes to significant amount of food loss and vaccine preventable diseases. Currently, in addition to my research, I am working in a team towards developing affordable off-grid refrigeration solutions. This project is an ideal combination for my engineering background, current research on innovation and my desire to solve complex problems.

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