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.

Hailey Hayes joins group


Hailey joins us this semester as PhD rotation student – welcome!!


Junhui's paper published


Congratulations to Junhui: His paper on droplet/bubble dynamics and heat transfer during low-Weber number droplet impact was just published in Experimental Thermal Fluid Sciences.


Two undergraduates join lab


Kiersten Horton and Vanessa Wergin are joining us through undergraduate summer research programs (Vanessa via REU and Kiersten via WUSEF). Welcome to the lab!!

Shawn Pavey joins as rotation student


Shawn Pavey joins the lab as PhD research rotation student. He will be working on a pore-scale fluidic and thermal characterization of liquid-liquid two-phase flow through porous media. Welcome!

Patty receives NSF CAREER award


Patty received a 5-year NSF CAREER award on the topic “Understanding thermal phase change processes in metal additive manufacturing“. For more information, see here (NSF) or here (McKelvey).



Sida passes MS thesis defense


Sida passed his MS thesis defense with the title: “Impact and melting dynamics of micron-sized particles on a liquid pool”. Congratulations!

Patty receives teaching award


Patty was one of the three McKelvey recipients of the 2020 Emerson “Excellence in Teaching” awards. The Center for Teaching and Learning also published a faculty spotlight article on Patty’s teaching.

Jacob's and Angelo's ICNMM paper published


Our two fantastic undergrads Jacob and Angelo have published their work on pool boiling heat transfer and issues of scaling in contaminated water in the proceedings of the 2020 ASME ICNMM/SHTC/FEDSM joint conference. Congratulations!

Patty receives ASME Award


During the joint ICNMM/SHTC/FEDSM conference, which was held virtually 7/13-15, Patty received the ASME ICNMM Outstanding Early Career Researcher Award 2020, “for her work in developing fundamental understanding of the phase change heat transfer on nanoengineered surfaces, as well as her work on interfacial phenomena and droplet dynamics”: Engineering News