Thermofluid Sciences, Energy and Sustainability

Thermofluid sciences involve the study of the heat transfer, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and mass transfer in complex engineering systems. Many of the applications of thermofluid sciences focus on the development of alternative and sustainable energy technologies. The department hosts a wide variety of research projects in this area. These projects range of the study of high temperature solid oxide fuel cells, to micro- and nano-scale heat transfer in energy materials, to understanding the fundamental physics occurring at the interfaces of bubbles and multiphase systems.

Research Topics

  • Fundamental and Applied Thermofluid Sciences focuses on understanding the fundamental physical phenomena of complex systems. Research in this area ranges from fluid mechanics applications in large scale systems such as atmospheric turbulence, air-breathing engines, supercavitating vehicles, and multiphase reactive flows, to small scale design and investigation of micro- and nano-fluidic devices. Other research considers the mass and heat transfer associated with plasma spray devices, computational modeling of reactive transport in porous media, experimental investigation of energy transport in solids and liquids and many other interesting topics.
  • Green Technologies include traditional energy conversion technologies, such as fossil fuel power plants, through advanced and alternative technologies, such as fuel cells and wind turbines. The department is involved in many areas of energy technologies from the simulation and design of devices for electrolysis, batteries and fuel cells to investigating the effects of wind turbines on human health and the design of novel ocean wave capture devices.
  • Sustainable Electric Power Systems are critical to future energy security and to the development and incorporation of renewable energy sources. Researchers are developing smart grid technologies to allow energy storage and delivery incorporating renewable energy sources more efficiently.


Research Labs

Fuel cell stack

Fuel cell stack