Institute for Sustainability

Cooling technologies

Development of new cooling technologies for high power electronics


As electrical devices become more powerful and increasingly small, the main limitation in future technological development will be effective heat dissipation and thermal control. In this project we will take a multi-disciplinary approach to develop, design, model and experimentally evaluate the next generation of liquid-cooled heat sinks for enhanced thermal management of electrical devices. We intend to apply concepts from process intensification in order to enhance heat transfer and provide greater thermal control. This will include active enhancements such as oscillatory flows, passive enhancements such as microfluidic devices, vortex generators and baffling, and combinations of both. Solving this heat dissipation challenge will be key in aiding future development in a number of key sustainability research areas including electric vehicles and smart grid systems.

Project Aims:

  • Throughout the design and modelling process, manufacturing constraints of both the current standard methods and the future state of the art will be considered upon advice from industrial collaborators.
  • Includes current heat sink manufacturing techniques such as etching, stamping and machining, and the future state of the art in manufacturing such as 3D printing techniques including selective laser melting.
  • The consideration of 3D printing in the design of enhanced heat sinks is expected to give significant freedom to the design, allowing the development of a new generation of heat transfer surfaces.