Cornell PhD -2


In graduate school, I had performed an independent research project on “Laser induced Shockwave Cleaning” with the intention of eliminating nano-sized particles from silicon wafer with strong shockwaves by focused laser. It was this experience, as well as participation in different research projects to calculate, predict and design engine room, heat exchangers and fans of excavators at my current employment that has persuaded me to pursue a Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering. Therefore, in graduate school I hope to focus my research on interfacial science including transfer phenomena or boiling, and multiphase (spray or slug type) flow during my Ph.D. program. To this end, I believe guidance from Professor Kirby and Professor Avedisian at Cornell University will help me to successfully perform my academic inquiries, exploring into the future of liquid-solid-gas interfacial science and multi-phase flow.

Statement of Purpose

I have had a wealth of experience from undergraduate and graduate studies to job at work. At the graduate school and corporate labs, for example, I was part of teams doing experiments on the equipment-synchronized Shadow graph visualization and particle elimination tests on the micro/nano domain. I am also familiar with several other test tools such as the AFM, CEM, optical microscope, and pressure and velocity transducer. In addition, I am conversant in designing experimental setup from the micro domain on the optical table to the large domain such as the engine room of excavator. Plus, I have working knowledge in the CFD and meshing using commercial tools such as STAR CD, Scryu/Tetra, Hypermesh and ANSA. On top of these skills, I have had extensive experience in presentations in regular intervals in front of large groups of people, including faculty members and corporate executives. I have fairly good command in spoken English thanks to the experience of working with several Bobcat (the construction equipment company) engineers on a group project. I believe that these abilities of mine will provide the foundation for me to further experiment, observe, and interpret physical phenomena in the micro nano domain during my Ph.D. program.

The following are the research questions that I want to pursue in the Ph.D. program: First, I want to make important contributions in shedding light on physical effects, such as transfer phenomena, boiling, bubble generation, vaporization that occur in the liquid-solid-gas interface, and derive physical principles behind them. In addition, I wish to lend support to developing applications related to these by catalyzing or suppressing the interfacial phenomena. Although there has been much advancement in this area, it is as yet unclear precisely how and in what mechanism these diverse surface conditions affect the multi-/single-phase flow. During my Ph.D. program, I’d like to delve into these questions; that is, how the change in surface conditions (or the change in electro-kinetic properties) would influence the liquid-solid-gas interface; and how these would control the varied physical effects. In many different applications such as micro-/nano-sized devices and channels, I also would like to find ways to apply the physical effects.

Another area of interest to me is the multi-phase flow. Although the area of multi-phase flow has many valuable applications including spray, jet impingement, droplet flow, and slug/plug flow in micro/nano sized channel, it is not yet possible to predict with precision. It is also premature to predict the surface interaction, droplet physics, and transfer mechanism on the multi-phase phenomena in case where gas is the major component such as spray and jet. For this reason, I’d like to deepen my understanding on the multi-phase flow and find out precise physical phenomena in the micro/nano domain. I also want to do in-depth research on the mechanism on the spray- or jet-style multi-phase flow and the physical effects that occur when coming in contact with diverse surfaces.

I have long been aware that Cornell’s mechanical engineering department is one of the few places in the world that have produced consistently high-quality research output in the areas of heat transfer, fluid and thermo dynamics, energy and thermal system in terms of both theory and practice. The cumulative knowledge at Cornell has been the greatest attraction to me. First of all, I hope to have a chance to work with Professors Brian J. Kirby and C. Thomas Avedisian. I was deeply impressed by Prof. Kirby’s research in nano/micro channel flow, interfacial science, lab on a chip, and many other research efforts he had pursued during his career. His areas of interest match very closely to what I want to work on in my Ph.D. program. The areas of specialty such as micro boiling, film boiling, droplet physics, and jet impingement-based multi-phase flow research, the strong points of Prof. Avedisian, also interest me enormously. If I have an opportunity to work at Prof. Kirby’s Micro/Nanofluidics Laboratory or Prof. Avedisian’s groups, I would like to find out the precise physical effects of the solid-liquid-gas interface under differing conditions, as well as its applications.

After successfully completing all the requirements of the Ph.D. program, I want to have a career in which I can make full use of what I have learned in school. The main research interest of mine lies in answering physics questions related to what’s happening in the solid-liquid-gas interface. For the purpose of enhancing my career in this specialty area, I plan to work in the world’s best manufacturers such as Samsung (Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, more precisely) and Intel, or research centers like Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Los Alamos National Lab., Bell Lab., and Sandia National Laboratory, working in areas such as transfer phenomena related applications and other bio or chip-related physics applications.

Since I had a near-death experience during my childhood, I have always wanted to make meaningful contributions to society in order to repay what I had received from the people around me. By focusing on the understanding of the solid-liquid-gas interface, I want to be part of the scientific endeavors to come up with new innovative applications such as new cooling devices and brilliant mass transfer methods and thereby play a role in improving the welfare of all the people in the world.