Our research focuses on the thermo-fluidic science of transport systems combined with advances in their design and manufacturing. We pursue scientific progress to develop creative solutions for tough challenges found in HVAC&R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration), electronics thermal management, energy systems, and environmental conservation.
Thermo-fluid physics in geometrically complex structures
This project focuses on achieving a mechanistic understanding of the heat and mass transfer in complex geometric structures of various length scales. They are found in many thermal transport devices such as plate heat exchangers and microchannel heat sinks. It is difficult to accurately predict their thermal-hydraulic performances with currently existing knowledge on flow morphology and related transport mechanisms.
Revolutionizing thermal system manufacturing
Various structural and geometric solutions can be suggested to increase the heat transfer surface area and reduce the overall heat and mass transport device volume. By using additive manufacturing, their production and assembly could be easier or less expensive than relying on traditional manufacturing processes. Additionally, successful metal 3D-printing of microchannel heat sinks for electronics, as shown in the figure on the right, has the potential to replace expensive and complicated cleanroom procedures to create microstructures on silicon wafers.
We want to deliver the cutting-edge knowledge and fundamental guidelines in the engineering design of thermal transport devices to more audiences and markets. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), majority of countries worldwide now have at least one type of national renewable energy target to pursue sustainable HVAC&R, transportation, and electricity generation. Our research effort will play a significant role in leading the world to achieve these tough goals.