Patrick Sullivan
PhD student
MAI, Trinity College Dublin (2019)

I am a PhD student in the Institute for Multiscale Thermofluids in the University of Edinburgh. I received a Master’s in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from Trinity College Dublin in 2019. My research focuses on the effect of nano-scale modifications on the macro-scale characteristics of multi-phase systems. In particular, I am investigating how nano-scale surface roughness and wettabillity affect the nucleation and growth of vapour bubbles. I aim to link the insights gained from from molecular dynamics simulations of these phase-change systems to experimentally obtained data. Understanding these effects will help to improve the performance and efficiency of multi-phase thermal management systems.

My Master’s research involved experimental investigations into the control of active nucleation site density on boiling surfaces, in collaboration with Nokia Bell Labs. This research made use of optical and infrared imaging techniques to quantify the nucleation and heat transfer characteristics of the surfaces investigated.

My recent work has involved determining the effects of capillarity and viscosity on the growth of nano-scale vapour bubbles, in particular, their effect on the interplay between inertially- and thermally-limited growth.


Inertio-thermal vapour bubble growth