Kim Lab

Thermal transport for energy and sustainability

Research overview

Our research focuses on the thermo-fluidic science of transport systems combined with advances in their design and manufacturing. We pursue scientific progress to develop creative solutions for tough challenges found in HVAC&R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration), electronics thermal management, energy systems, and environmental conservation.

Thermo-fluid physics in geometrically complex structures

This project focuses on achieving a mechanistic understanding of the heat and mass transfer in complex geometric structures of various length scales. They are found in many thermal transport devices such as plate heat exchangers and microchannel heat sinks. It is difficult to accurately predict their thermal-hydraulic performances with currently existing knowledge on flow morphology and related transport mechanisms.


Revolutionizing thermal system manufacturing

Various structural and geometric solutions can be suggested to increase the heat transfer surface area and reduce the overall heat and mass transport device volume. By using additive manufacturing, their production and assembly could be easier or less expensive than relying on traditional manufacturing processes. Additionally, successful metal 3D-printing of microchannel heat sinks for electronics, as shown in the figure on the right, has the potential to replace expensive and complicated cleanroom procedures to create microstructures on silicon wafers.



We want to deliver the cutting-edge knowledge and fundamental guidelines in the engineering design of thermal transport devices to more audiences and markets. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), majority of countries worldwide now have at least one type of national renewable energy target to pursue sustainable HVAC&R, transportation, and electricity generation. Our research effort will play a significant role in leading the world to achieve these tough goals.



The team

Our team conducts high impact and high quality research. We also strive to maintain a positive group culture.
CLICK HERE to see the LAB MANUAL & POLICIES to understand our work culture and philosophy.


Hyun Jin Kim, PhD (CV, Personal Website)
Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering [at]

Postdoc in Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
PhD in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics, University of Illinois
MS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois
BS in Mechanical Engineering, Rice University
BA in Visual Arts, Rice University


Big Al
Future Student

YourID [at]

Before contacting the PI,
CLICK HERE to see the Lab Manual & Policies to see if you would be a good fit for the team.


H. J. Kim, L. Liebenberg, and A. M. Jacobi, “R-245fa boiling at low mass flux in a plate heat exchanger near the micro-macroscale transition,” in preparation.

H. J. Kim, L. Liebenberg, and A. M. Jacobi, “Flow visualization of two-phase R-245fa at low mass flux in a plate heat exchanger near the micro-macroscale transition,” Sci. Tech. Built Env., 25(10). doi:10.1080/23744731.2019.1648980.

H. J. Kim, L. Liebenberg, and A. M. Jacobi, “Convective boiling of R-134a near the micro-macroscale transition inside a vertical BPHE,” J. Heat Transf., 140(9):091501, 2018. doi:10.1115/1.4039397.

N. Moller, H. J. Kim, V. S. Neary, M. H. Garcia, and L. P. Chamorro, “On the near-wall effects induced by an axial-flow rotor,” Renew. Energ., 91, 524-530, 2016. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2016.01.051.

J. Zhu, H. J. Kim, and S. G. Kapoor, “Microscale drilling of bulk metallic glass,” J. Micro Nano-Manuf., 1(4), 041004, 2013. doi: 10.1115/1.4025538.

Conference proceedings

H. J. Kim, K. W. Jung, S. Hazra, M. Asheghi, and K. E. Goodson, “Development of 3D-printed manifolds to reduce pressure drop in embedded microchannel coolers for high heat-flux electronics applications,” abstract submitted for publication in Proc. of Intl. Tech. Conf. and Exhibition on Packaging & Integration of Electronic and Photonic Microsystems (InterPACK), Anaheim, CA, Oct. 27 – 29, 2020.

K. W. Jung, H. J. Kim, H. Lee, F. Zhou, M. Asheghi, E. Dede, and K. E. Goodson, “The effect of geometric changes in embedded microchannel-3D manifold cooling device on thermo fluidic characteristics,” abstract submitted for publication in Proc. of IEEE Intersociety Conf. on Thermal & Thermomechanical Phenomena in Electronic Systems (ITherm), Orlando, FL, May 26 – 29, 2020.

H. J. Kim, L. Liebenberg, and A. M. Jacobi, “Flow Visualization of Two-Phase R-245fa at Low Mass Flux in a Plate Heat Exchanger near the Micro-Macroscale Transition,” in Proc.of the 17th Intl. Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Conf., West Lafayette, IN, July 9 – 12, 2018. 2nd Place Paper Award.

H. J. Kim, L. Liebenberg, and A. M. Jacobi, “Thermal-hydraulic performance of R-134a boiling at low mass fluxes in a vertical brazed plate heat exchanger,” Proc. of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Summer Heat Transfer Conf., Bellevue, WA, July 9 – 14, 2017. doi:10.1115/HT2017-5083.

J. Zhu, H. J. Kim, and S. G. Kapoor, “Microscale drilling of bulk metallic glass,” Proc. of the 8th Intl. Conf. on Micromanufacturing, Victoria, BC, Canada, Mar. 26 – 28, 2013, Best Paper Award.

H. J. Kim and D. C. Kyritsis, “Exergetic analysis of power plants operating on biomaterials,” Proc. of Power and Energy Conf. at Illinois, Urbana, IL, Feb. 22 -23, 2013. doi: 10.1109/PECI.2013.6506028.

Join us

We are always looking for creative, motivated, and dedicated engineers and scientists.
CLICK HERE to read the LAB MANUAL & POLICIES to see if you would be a good fit for the team.
Prospective researchers interested in thermofluids and manufacturing should contact the principal investigator.