Thermal Sciences Research and Education in the University of Utah’s Department of Mechanical Engineering studies thermodynamics and heat transfer physics in a wide range of length and time scales that impact engineering and biological applications. Core strengths include microfluidics, computational fluid dynamics, radiative energy transfer, and nanoscale.

Faculty and Labs

Tim Ameel

Research interests include: Microfluidics, Microscale thermal fluid phenomena, Microscale energy systems, Heat Exchangers, and Mathematical modeling of thermal fluid systems.

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Todd Harman

Research interests include: Computational Fluid Dynamics and Fluid Structure Interaction, Supersonic flows, and Large scale simulations.

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Tianlie Feng
Lab – Feng MEX Lab

Our research is to push the frontiers of thermal energy transport, conversion, and storage in complex systems to extremes. Specifically, we target materials properties for ultra-high temperatures (1000-3000 °C), ultra-low temperatures (-270 °C), ultra-high thermal conductivity (2000 W/mK), ultra-low thermal conductivity (<0.01 W/mK), ultra-high power density, and ultra-fast energy transfer rate, from the atomic level to human scale. Our research methods include both advanced simulations and experiments, aiming for both fundamental sciences and cutting-edge technologies.

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Mathieu Francoeur
Lab – Radiative Energy Transfer

Research at the RETL is multidisciplinary at the interface of mechanical engineering, applied physics, electrical engineering, materials science and mathematics. Current applications of interests include thermophotovoltaic power generation, near-field radiative heat transfer modeling in 3D complex geometries, design of materials with unique radiative properties, optical characterization of nanostructures, near-field thermal spectroscopy and radiation-conduction transition.

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Alex Novoselov
Lab – Numerical Turbulence, Energy, and Reactions Group

The Numerical Turbulence, Energy, and Reactions lab focuses on making an impact against climate change through the computational study of flow and energy. Currently, we specialize in using high-fidelity simulations to better understand turbulent reacting flows in practical devices. When our tools reach the limits of what they can simulate, we develop new, state-of-the-art models to overcome these restrictions and continue our studies.

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Keunhan (Kay) Park
Lab – Utah Nano-Energy

Focuses on research and education of nanoscale energy transport and conversion processes. Our research interests include fundamental physics of thermal, electrical, and photonic energy interactions at nanoscales, nanostructure-based energy applications, nanoscale thermophysical instrumentations, and tip-based nanoimaging and spectroscopy.

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Sameer Rao

Research Interests include: Multiscale heat & mass transfer, Energy conversion & storage, Water harvesting & purification, and Thermal management.

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