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 for thermal management and 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 and bi-philic surfaces. For more information on projects, please see here.

We are currently looking to hire 1-2 PhD students.


We are also always looking for interested and motivated undergraduate students to participate in our research efforts.

Wenliang's impact paper published


Congratulations to Wenliang: His paper on impact dynamics and heat transfer during droplet impact on wettability-patterned surfaces was just published in Physics of Fluids.


Shuhan and Jacob honored


Congratulations! Both of our graduating seniors, Shuhan and Jacob, have been received departmental awards (outstanding dual-degree or transfer student award and outstanding senior award, respectively), and will be starting their PhD studies in August. Thank you for your contributions to out research group, and good luck!

Xinyu passes MS thesis defense


Congratulations to Xinyu Jiang for passing his MS thesis defense today on “Nucleation Dynamics for Water Condensation on Hydrophobic Surfaces in the Presence of Non-Condensable Gases

Jacob receives NSF Fellowship


CONGRATULATIONS!! Jacob Graham, the lab’s most senior undergrad researcher (2 1/2 years) was awarded the prestigious NSF Graduate Fellowship. He will be joining Northwestern University to pursue his PhD studies in Mechanical Engineering. Good luck, have fun, and we will miss you!

Evaporation Paper Published


Wenliang’s and Junhui’s work on the influence of substrate orientation on evaporation heat transfer has been published in Langmuir. Congratulations!

Patty featured as alumna of UIUC


Patty just got featured on the alumni-news website of MechSE @ U of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Patty receives funding from ACS


The American Chemical Society (ACS) Petroleum Research Fund has awarded Patty a 2-year grant to study the coupling of heat transfer and fluid flow in 2D microporous media.

Kate's paper published in IJHMT


Kate’s paper on melting and impact dynamics of ice particles on a heated water bath was just published in IJHMT. It elucidates the coupling of heat transfer and fluid dynamic for metallic additive manufacturing processes. CONGRATULATIONS!!


Patty receives NASA Grant


Patty received a NASA Early Career Faculty Award to study and develop a passive and compact liquid metal based heat switch. More information on the proposed technology can be found here and in an article featured in WashU Engineering News.