In this research group, our focus lies on understanding the interplay of fluid dynamics and heat transfer of droplets and other multi-phase systems. Practical applications of interest are additive manufacturing, phase change heat transfer, thermal management of electronics and energy systems, thermal storage, and droplet interactions with biological systems. To fundamentally study these thermal-fluidic interactions, we combine multiple experimental techniques, such as high-speed optical and infrared (IR) imaging, interferometry, confocal fluorescence microscopy, and conventional heat transfer measurements.

Current projects include the characterization of melt pool dynamics during metallic 3D printing, dropwise condensation heat transfer on lubricant-infused surfaces (LIS), the wettability of graphene, and droplet impact dynamics on hierarchical surfaces. For more information on projects, please see here.

We are always looking for interested and motivated undergraduate students and visiting scholars to participate in our research efforts (unfortunately, there currently is no funding for new graduate students).

Qualifying Exams


BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Andreea and Jianxing for passing their qualifying exams. They are official PhD candidates now. Way to go!

Paper published in APL


Part of Patty’s PhD work, in collaboration with Tianyu Yang et al., on a liquid metal based thermal switch has been published in APL. It is also featured at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) College of Engineering website.

Paper published in PRF


The final project of Patty’s PhD work on droplet impact on vibrating superhydrophobic surfaces has been published in PRF.

Andreea Stoica joins the lab


We have our third PhD rotation student join the lab – welcome Andreea!

Jianxing Sun joins the lab


We have our second PhD rotation student join the lab – welcome Jianxing!

Junhui Li joins the lab


We have our first PhD rotation student join the lab – welcome Junhui!

Lab ready for move-in


Our new lab space in Whitaker 245 is ready for move-in. Let the research begin!

Paper published in IJHMT


Part of Patty’s PhD work on the distribution of droplet sizes during dropwise condensation on lubricant-inflused surfaces (LIS or SLIPS) has been published in IJHMT.

Patty featured in "POETS" newsletter


The newest POETS (Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems) newlsetter (Fall 2016) featured an interview with Patty on her research career, motivation, and goals.

POETS Newsletter 3-2016