The Sustainable Thermal Systems Laboratory

   The goal of the research conducted at the Sustainable Thermal Systems Laboratory is to develop practical solutions to the global climate change issue in the form of novel systems and components for improved thermal energy utilization. This research is driven by the core belief that the current defining issue facing humankind, sustainable energy, can be addressed not simply through the eternal quest for new sources of fossil and renewable energy, but also through better stewardship of thermal energy utilization and the organization of end-use applications in "near-lossless" energy cascades. Examples of applications being addressed include residential and commercial space conditioning, automotive propulsion and climate control, chemical process industries, and other energy-intensive applications. Specific research in the lab ranges from the fundamental investigations of phase-change heat and mass transfer and supercritical fluid flow and heat transfer phenomena in single- and multi-component fluids at the micro and mini scales to the development of novel thermally activated absorption and vapor compression heat pumps, natural refrigerant space-conditioning systems, thermal management systems for high density lithium-ion batteries in vehicular applications, waste heat recovery for high flux, low temperature cooling in naval and refrigerated transport applications, miniaturized wearable and portable cooling systems, adsorption based carbon capture and gas cleaning, and waterless power plant condenser cooling. Integrated experimental, analytical, and computational approaches have led to the direct implementation of insights from the fundamental investigations of heat and mass transfer into practical thermal systems and components with lower energy utilization and environmental impact.



Taylor S. Kunke has accepted a job with SpaceX.


STSL alumnus Dr. Alexander S. Rattner has been awarded an NSF CAREER award.


Bachir El Fil has been awarded the 2017 Science and Technology for the Built Environment Best Paper Award for his article "Optimizing Performance of Ceiling Mounted Personalized Ventilation System Assisted by Chair Fans: Assessment of Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality".


STSL alumnus Dr. Brian M. Fronk has been awarded the 2017-2018 ASHRAE New Investigator Award.


Khoudor Keniar will be interning with Google X this semester.


Allison J. Mahvi has been awarded funding from the Center for Serve Learn Sustain (SLS) to integrate concepts about the nexus of food, water and energy systems into the course she will be teaching next semester: Renewable Energy Systems (ME 4823).


Victor C. Aiello has accepted a position as an Applications Engineer at Modine Manufacturing in Racine, WI.


STSL alumna Dr. Adrienne B. Little has started her position as an Engineer at Google X.


STSL is pleased to welcome Subhrajit Chakraborty back after his summer internship in the Wireline and Perforating group at Haliburton Energy Services.


STSL is pleased to welcome Anurag Goyal back after his summer internship in the Electronics Cooling Laboratory at GE Global Research.


Allison J. Mahvi has been awarded the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Graduate Teaching Fellowship.


Jennifer Lin successfully defended her Master's Thesis entitled, "Air-Cooled Condensers for Thermoelectric Power Generation", and will be leaving for her position at Shell in the coming weeks. Congrats Jennifer!


Alex J. Huning successfully defended his PhD Dissertation entitled, "A Novel Core Analysis Method for Prismatic High Temperature Gas Reactors", and will be leaving for his position at X-Energy in the coming weeks. Congrats Alex!


A paper by Marcel Staedter, Khoudor Keniar, and Dr. Garimella was awarded the Best Student Paper at the International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference.


Alex J. Huning has accepted a position as a Safety and Risk Analyst at X-Energy in Washington, D.C.