Far away, so close: high resolution investigations of boiling heat transfer, from cryogenic fluids to high-pressure water

Matteo Bucci
In every field of science, the possibility of discovering and understanding new phenomena or testing new hypotheses is strongly related to and limited by the capability of observation. Here, we will discuss recent advances in experimental boiling heat transfer research made possible by unique experimental facilities and non-intrusive high-resolution optical diagnostics. We will analyze the capabilities and limitations of these techniques in supporting the understanding of fundamental two-phase heat transfer problems, with a focus on extreme boiling conditions such as the boiling of water at high pressure and temperature, close to nuclear reactor conditions, the boiling of dielectric fluids for electronic cooling applications, or the boiling of cryogenic fluids relevant to space propulsion and energy storage. The use of these diagnostics has been instrumental in providing answers to long-standing fundamental questions on the fluid dynamics and heat transfer nature of these processes.

Matteo Bucci

Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Matteo Bucci is the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has published over 40 journal articles and 70 conference papers.

His research group studies two-phase heat transfer mechanisms in nuclear reactors and space systems, develops high-resolution non-intrusive diagnostics and surface engineering techniques to enhance two-phase heat transfer, and creates machine learning tools to accelerate data analysis and conduct autonomous heat transfer experiments. He has won several awards for his research and teaching, including the MIT Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Excellence in Teaching (2020), ANS/PAI Outstanding Faculty Award (2018 and 2023), the UIT-Fluent Award (2006), the European Nuclear Education Network Award (2010), and the 2012 ANS Thermal-Hydraulics Division Best Paper Award.

Matteo serves as the Editor of Applied Thermal Engineering, is the founder and coordinator of the NSF Thermal Transport Café, and works as a consultant for the nuclear industry.