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Thermal/Fluids Sciences


Focus areas:  mechanical behavior of deformable particles, heat and mass transfer, transport phenomena, hydrodynamic stability.

Faculty in the thermal fluid group: Drs. Charles Eggleton, Ronghui Ma, Carlos Romera-Talamas, Meilin Yu, and Liang Zhu

Thermal-Fluids Sciences involves the application of experimental techniques and mathematical methods based on principles from physics, fluid and gas dynamics, and heat transfer to the development and operation of energy conversion systems, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and internal combustion engines. Research projects currently conducted by faculty in the thermal fluid sciences involve heat and mass transport processes, microfluidics, fluid dynamics, hydrodynamic stability theory and fluid-structure interaction problems, many are associated with biological and medical applications. Employing a combination of experimental methods with mathematical models, we are investigating the effects of fluid dynamics and heat and mass transfer on strategies for the delivery of therapeutics agents within tissue and through the circulatory system, the design of biomedical devices for the identification and separation of specific biological cells, and for manufacturing novel materials and coatings with localized material properties. Faculty are conducting interdisciplinary research in the following areas:

(1) Mechanical behavior of deformable particles, including living cells, and the influence of hydrodynamic forces and applied external forces on their behavior; high throughput measurements of cell mechanical properties.

(2) Heat and mass transfer in magnetic anoparticle hyperthermia and photothermal therapy using gold nanoshells/nanorods in cancer therapy; targeted brain cooling using an interstitial cooling device; bacterial disinfection in endodontics using laser
or heating catheters.

(3) Transport phenomena, phase change, chemical reaction kinetics in material processing (directional solidification, chemical vapor deposition, ribbon growth on substrate); nanomaterial transport and deposition in porous structure.

(4) Hydrodynamic stability and transition to turbulence, non-Newtonian fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, numerical methods and computer simulations, engineering education.