Shi-Chune Yao is a professor emeritus in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests are mainly in multiphase flow and heat transfer. This is closely related to energy and thermal control industries. He works on both experimental and theoretical research on subjects that are important to industry but are fundamental in nature.
Yao is active in the development of micro-scale energy systems using MEMS technology. He models and develops micro-scale refrigeration systems on silicon chips and the two phase fluidics in micro-scale direct methanol fuel cells. As a member of the NextManufacturing Center, he also works on the thermal modeling of additive manufacturing of metal products, including the micro to macro scale.
Due to increased packaging density and clock speed, the heat fluxes of electronics are steadily increasing. Cooling of electronics with micro-channels and sprays are becoming inevitable solutions. Yao pioneered the spray cooling technology in 1989, and now the spray cooling is common on military electronics and in super-computers. Presently, his focus is on the use of micro-channel systems for the cooling of electronic chips.
Due to the large surface-to-volume ratio, droplets and sprays are used broadly in many critical processes in industry. Yao’s research includes spray transport and deposition, impaction cooling in metallurgical processes, micro-sprays for cooling of electronic chips, and drop combustion and flame propagation in fuel sprays.
A new chapter for Yao
1977 introduced NASA's Voyager I, the Commodore PET computer, MRI technology, and Star Wars. It was also the year Shi-Chune Yao came to the Department of Mechanical Engineering.