Heat transfer, additive manufacturing powers NSF graduate research fellow

Michael Bichnevicius, recent mechanical engineering graduate, helps harness heat transfer in undergraduate research

May 15, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Michael Bichnevicius, a recent graduate from the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering, was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to spur the impact of his future work.

His proposal, “Boiling Vapor Bubble Dynamics on Rough Additively Manufactured Surfaces,” focuses on an emerging area in the dynamic field of additive manufacturing (AM) commonly referred to as 3D printing. Working as an undergraduate researcher in the ExCCL Lab under Stephen Lynch, the Shuman Family Early Career Professor, and the Heat Transfer and Multiphase Flow Lab under Matthew Rau, assistant professor, Bichnevicius is helping pioneer the University’s exploration of AM.

Specifically, his work explores how heat transfer can be optimized through AM. The process itself creates unique, rough surfaces on the parts that can be further manipulated with the flexibility of AM.  

“Boiling heat transfer is used for thermal management in high heat flux technologies like computer chips and power plants, and the texture of a boiling surface affects heat transfer behavior to a great extent,” he said. “Metal additive manufacturing presents opportunities to develop high-performance thermal management components, so it is important to understand the impact of these rough surfaces on boiling heat transfer.”

Fine-tuning the manufacturing process in this way has the potential to impact any technology that relies on temperature, such as computer data sensors and gas turbines. His experience at Penn State, and the ExCCL Lab in particular, fueled his interest in this area. Among his many accomplishments, he co-authored three papers during his undergraduate research with the lab and served as the first author on a conference paper.

Now heading to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to continue his research and pursue a doctorate in mechanical engineering, he said, “I am very honored to receive this fellowship and excited to pursue research in energy science.”

Bichnevicius explains his research pursuits are not only personally fulfilling; he is able to use his talents as a mechanical engineer to make a positive impact on society.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) rightly says there are serious technological, economic, social, and institutional challenges associated with substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “I hope to contribute to engineering solutions which address the ‘technological’ challenge.”

 

Share this story:

facebook linked in twitter email

MEDIA CONTACT:

 

Erin Cassidy Hendrick, emc5045@psu.edu

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) rightly says there are serious technological, economic, social, and institutional challenges associated with substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I hope to contribute to engineering solutions which address the ‘technological’ challenge.”

 
 

About

With more than 60 faculty members, 330 graduate students, and 800 undergraduate students, the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering embraces a culture that welcomes individuals with a diversity of backgrounds and expertise. Our faculty and students are innovating today what will impact tomorrow’s solutions to meeting our energy needs, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems. We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S.) graduate degrees in mechanical engineering. See how we’re inspiring change and impacting tomorrow at me.psu.edu.

Department of Mechanical Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519