student in the lab with a laser

Thermal/Fluid Sciences

We are developing ways to extract energy from fluid flows and heat exchange.

Faculty and students working in the thermal/fluid sciences advance the understanding of systems that involve thermodynamic conversions of energy, the conversion of the flow of liquids and gases into force and power, and heat exchange. Our research focuses on the conversion of energy from fuel and from the flow of wind and water for use in industry, transportation, buildings, and homes. Our fundamental studies in thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, turbomachinery, energy storage, and combustion are applied to improve engines, gas turbines, wind turbines and wind farms, hydro turbines, power plants, and energy storage devices. We conduct large-scale experiments and apply high performance computing methods to advance scientific understanding, mathematical modeling, and design tools.

Labs, Centers, and Groups

Battery and Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Center

Battery and Energy Storage Technology Lab
Chris Rahn, Chao-Yang Wang, Donghai Wang

Computational Reacting Flows Lab

Computational Reacting Flows Lab
Yuan Xuan

Electrochemical Engine Center

Electrochemical Engine Lab
Chao-Yang Wang

Energy Nanostructure Lab

Energy Nanostructure Lab
Donghai Wang

Environmental and Biological Fluid Mechanics Lab

Environmental and Biological Fluid Mechanics Lab
Margaret Byron

Fluid Dynamics Research Consortium

fluid dynamics reseach consortium
Robert Kunz, Laura Pauley

Heat Transfer and Multiphase Flow Lab

Rau Lab
Matthew Rau

High Pressure Combustion Lab

high pressure combustion lab
Richard Yetter

Interfacial Phenomena Lab

Intelligent Vehicles and Systems Group Image
Bladimir Ramos-Alvarado

Multiscale Thermal Fluids and Energy Lab

Multiscale Thermal Fluids and Energy
Alex Rattner

Nanomechanical Systems Laboratory

nanomechanical systems lab
Aman Haque

Pangborn Advanced Controls Lab

Computational Biomechanics
Herschel Pangborn

Penn State Center for Combustion, Power, and Propulsion

Center for Combustion Power and Propulsion Lab
Dan Haworth (director), Adri van Duin, Jackie O’Connor, Yuan Xuan, Richard Yetter

Reacting Flow Dynamics Lab

Reacting Flow Dynamics Lab
Jacqueline O’Connor

Nanoscale Thermography and Electronics Reliability Lab

Thermal Characterization Lab Image
Sukwon Choi

Turbine Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics Group

Turbine Heat Transfer and Aerodynamics Group
Steve Lynch, Karen Thole

Wong Laboratory for Nature Inspired Engineering

Wong Laboratory for Nature Inspired Engineering
Tak Sing Wong

Reacting Flow Dynamics Lab Video Link
START Lab video link
ExCCL lab video link


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

Department of Mechanical Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519