Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Candidate Seminar


Rediscovering the First Principles of LWR Thermal-Hydraulics-How I developed and used advanced techniques to reveal fundamental mechanisms in flow boiling heat transfer


Dr. Guanyu Su


Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:00:00 PM   Add to Calendar



Dr. Steven Biegalski


How I developed and used advanced techniques to reveal fundamental mechanisms in flow boiling heat transfer? History teaches us that major breakthroughs in science and technology are always tied to the capability to observe nature. Advancing measurement techniques is critical in any research field. In this talk, I will discuss the development of advanced techniques, e.g., high resolution infrared thermometry, and the use of these techniques to shed light on physical phenomena, focusing on flow boiling heat transfer. Flow boiling plays a central role in light water reactors thermal-hydraulics due to its exceptional heat transfer efficiency. The outcome of flow boiling results from many intertwined parameters. I will show how to perform direct measurement of key flow boiling parameters on different types of surface, in both steady state and transient heating conditions. I will leverage these measurements to reveal new heat transfer mechanisms. I will also transform such mechanisms into new models to predicting flow boiling heat transfer and a unifying principle of the boiling crisis. The better understanding and more accurate prediction models for flow boiling should bring about the foreseeable life extension of current LWRs and the better design for advanced reactors.


Guanyu Su is a postdoctoral associate in the Nuclear Reactor Lab and the Nuclear Science and Engineering department at MIT. He received his MSc and PhD in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT. He has been devoting himself to answering critical scientific questions in nuclear reactor thermal-hydraulics. His research experience covers various interdisciplinary topics in the broad area of diagnostics development, molten salt technologies, two-phase flow heat transfer, and nano/micro engineering for energy systems. In recognition of his research and supervision work, he has won the 2019-2020 Outstanding Postdoctoral Research Award in NSE at MIT. He has also won the 2016 American Nuclear Society Young Professional Thermal Hydraulics Research Competition, and the 2016 MIT/NSE Manson Benedict award for the most impactful PhD research. Guanyu is an enthusiastic teacher. He likes to try innovative approaches in his teaching. He always discusses with students their thoughts and questions. His lectures are highly rated by graduate students. He believes research and teaching are the two indispensable parts of his career.


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