Thermal energy systems: My core research area is in thermal-fluids in sustainable and low-carbon energy technologies. Carbon-free thermal energy sources such as solar and nuclear paired with technologies using high temperature (>400°C) heat transfer fluids such as molten salts and synthetic oils are promising alternatives that could achieve high thermal efficiencies. Examples include molten salt solar receivers, thermal energy storage, Generation IV nuclear reactors, and salt-cooled fusion reactors. Improving thermal-hydraulics analyses and predictions is crucial in order realize major safety, reliability, and economic breakthroughs in these technologies.
I focus on advanced experimental and applied computational methods for radiative heat transfer in high temperature heat transfer fluids. My group’s research involves developing methods to measure the thermal radiation absorption and scattering optical properties of high temperature fluids, developing and carrying-out lab-scale experiments to investigate the mechanisms governing the interaction between radiation and convection in volumetrically heated fluids used in solar and nuclear applications, and using the experimental data to develop computational and analytical models to improve system efficiencies.