Thermal and Fluid Sciences
The Thermal and Fluid Sciences Division is the largest of the four divisions in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Among the twenty (20) tenured and tenure-track faculty in the division, there are twelve (12) full professors, four (4) associate professors, and four (4) assistant professors. These faculty and their students, and other post doctoral/research associates, conduct fundamental and applied research in general areas such as aerosol mechanics, combustion, energy, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer, with the main objectives being the enhancement of the understanding of fluid flow and heat transfer phenomena in thermal and energy systems, and the application of the knowledge gained to the design and manufacturing of efficient and environmentally-friendly systems for transportation, power generation, energy conversion and conservation, and other innovative systems for the improvement of the quality of life for mankind.
Specific areas of research include:
- Aerosol mechanics --- health effects of aerosols, aerosol formation in combustion, flame aerosol synthesis of micro- and nano-materials, functional micro-sized and nano-sized particles, nano- and bio-mixing for functional materials, and bioaerosols
- Combustion --- internal combustion engines, reciprocating engines, gas turbine combustion, reduction of pollutant emissions, pollutant sensors, alternative fuels, coal and biomass combustion, boiler burners and reburn systems, selective non-catalytic and catalytic nitric oxide removal technologies, cogeneration and combined cycles, fires and explosions, and laser diagnostics of flames
- Energy --- heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems, energy efficiency in buildings, artificial intelligence networked buildings, monitoring and verification of energy retrofits, solar energy, formation of frost on heat exchangers, defrost performance and dynamics of heat pump system, ventilation air heat pumps, aerosol mixing in ventilation systems, energy efficient industrial equipment, and industrial assessment of energy usage
- Fluid mechanics --- micro- and nano-scale thermal fluidic transport, microfluidics, bio-particle and colloidal manipulations using microfluidics, electrokinetic transport, rarefied gas dynamics, numerical modeling of micro- and nano-scale transport, numerical techniques, computational fluid dynamics, turbulence, acoustics, flow instabilities, flow induced noise, pumps and compressors, laser anemometry/velocimetry, imaging techniques, aerothermodynamics of rotating machinery, and dynamic behavior of turbomachinery systems,
- Heat transfer --- advanced heat transfer and cooling technologies for aircraft and industrial gas turbines, heat transfer and film cooling for unsteady flows with high freestream turbulence, heat transfer in rotating flows, advanced hydrogen turbines, micro-turbine and fuel cell systems, multi-phase flow and heat transfer on nano-structured surfaces, heat transfer augmentation in heat exchange systems, heat and mass transfer applied to medical and biological systems, micro-scale and nano-scale heat transfer in microelectronics, avionics and automobile thermal management, thermal contact resistance, thermal transport in ultra-thin polymeric films, and advanced experimental methods in heat transfer measurements