Professor Named Young Engineer of the Year

Her Research on Cooling Draws Inspiration from a Design Found in Nature

Dec. 7, 2009

Taking a cue from the lungs of mammals, Dr. Fatemeh Hassanipour is exploring a new cooling concept that could have applications in airplanes, data centers and elsewhere.

Her novel concept is inspired by the gas exchange process in pulmonary capillaries, where red blood cells flow with blood plasma, yielding very high gas transfer efficiency. In her approach, special encapsulated particles flowing in water transfer the heat out of a system.

Her innovative work is just one of the reasons she’s been named Young Engineer of the Year by the North Texas section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The award recognizes both outstanding accomplishment and potential in a mechanical engineer with less than 10 years of work experience.

“Fatemeh is at the forefront of efficient heat exchange systems,” said Mario Rotea, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas. “She draws inspiration from biology to develop new mini-heat exchangers that could have an impact in avionics, computers, data centers and automobiles.”

Hassanipour has to date concentrated her research in the area of thermal/fluid management and engineering, with special emphasis on phase change materials, particulate flow and porous materials. But her work has increasingly centered on the potential for bio-inspired heat exchangers in cooling applications. She also has expertise in the mechanics of certain biological systems as well as complex heat-exchange scenarios.

Building on her experience, she has formulated a plan for future research and development in the areas of mini/micro cooling (for future electronic systems), health and bioengineering applications (modeling and simulations of the mechanics of biological systems involving particulate flow and/or porous media) and energy (conservation, storage and management).

“My research plan is carefully constructed to leverage my expertise and address the grand challenges facing our country in the areas of health care, energy and the continued advancement of high-tech industries,” she said.

She is also the author of eight research papers and has one U.S. patent pending.

A licensed professional engineer in Texas, Hassanipour worked for nine years in the area of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and refinery piping before receiving her PhD in mechanical engineering earlier this year from Southern Methodist University, where she was also a research assistant and instructor for several mechanical engineering laboratories and courses.

As a senior pipe stress engineer in the field of oil and gas refinery, she has worked for EIED Co. of Iran and as a member of consulting team for LINDE Corp. in Germany. She has also worked as project coordinator for SOFREGAZ Co. in France, and in the U.S. she has worked as an HVAC designer for residential and commercial buildings.


Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Fatemeh Hassanipour

Dr. Fatemeh Hassanipour worked for nine years in the area of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and refinery piping before receiving her PhD in mechanical engineering.

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