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Thermal-fluid Science

Thermal-Fluid science is a branch of science that deals with thermal energy and fluid flow, and involves a study of thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics. Thermal-Fluid science examines many phenomena all around us, from the blood flow in our veins to ocean currents and atmospheric turbulence. Engineers frequently use and advance the thermal-fluid technologies to design safe and more efficient energy-related systems. Examples span from heating and ventilation systems to energy and power generation devices for cars, airplanes, oil and gas facilities, and power plants.
 
Thermal science first examines thermodynamics: a branch of physics that examines the interaction of temperature, pressure, and volume within a system to convert heat to work and vice-versa. Thermodynamics is governed by some universal rules, the implications of which reach beyond engineering and even as far as philosophy. The first rule states that energy, or matter, cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be converted from one form to another. The second law states that all machines will lose energy from input to output (i.e. they have imperfect efficiency),  in a process called entropy.
 
The second important aspect is heat transfer, which is concerned with the exchange of heat between physical systems.  It involves several mechanisms, such as conduction, convection, radiation, and the transfer of energy by phase changes. It always occurs from a region of high temperature to another region of lower temperature. Heat conduction, or diffusion, is the direct microscopic exchange of kinetic energy of particles through the boundary between two systems. Heat convection occurs when the bulk flow of a fluid carries heat along with the fluid flow. The flow of fluid may be forced by external processes (forced convection), or sometimes by buoyancy forces caused when thermal energy expands the fluid (natural convection). An example of the latter process is a fire plume. Thermal radiation is the transfer of energy by means of photons  in electromagnetic waves. Radiation heat transfer can occur in any transparent medium (solid or fluid) or through a vacuum. Even though these mechanisms have distinct characteristics, in practice they often occur together in a system.
 
Fluid mechanics studies fluids (liquids, gases, and plasmas) and the forces on them, from the micron scale up to planetary scales. Fluid mechanics can be divided into fluid statics, the study of fluids at rest; fluid kinematics, the study of fluids in motion; and fluid dynamics, the study of the effect of forces on fluid motion. Fluid dynamics can be mathematically complex and is an active field of research with many unsolved or partly solved problems. Advances in computational science have facilitated effective implementation of numerical methods in this field; a modern discipline called computational fluid dynamics (CFD).
 
We welcome you to this challenging field, which offers exciting opportunities in the development of more efficient fuels and fuel systems, new energy sources, biomedical equipment, and other areas.

 

Design, Manufacturing and Testing of a Novel Aperture-Cavity System for Enhanced Solar Reactor Technology

 

Emission free co-production of carbon nanotubes and hydrogen via concentrated solar energy

 

Thermal dilation and internal damage of cryogenic concrete utilized for direct liquefied natural gas containment

 

Automated identification of subsea architectures via reduced order modeling

 

Solar Hybrid Hydrogen Production Cycle with In-situ Thermal Energy Storage

 

Micro-Nano Fluid Mechanics

 

Energy Efficient Systems

 

Environment and Renewable Energy