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  Electronically Controlled Adaptive AM Heat Exchanger (eHEX)


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  Dr Gerard McGranaghan, Dr John Lohan, Dr David Tormey, Mr Mohammadreza Kadivar  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Electronically Controlled Adaptive AM Heat Exchanger (eHEX)

The Postgraduate Research Programme Innovation in Digital Manufacturing and Design (IDMD) offers 12 PhD research scholarships in 12 separate projects to commence in 2024. Each project will include an enterprise placement of minimum 12 weeks duration.

Description of the project "Electronically Controlled Adaptive AM Heat Exchanger (eHEX)"

Electronic devices such as laptops, phones, batteries produce heat which is often managed via two phase heat transfer devices such as vapour chambers or heat pipes. However, these passive devices face operating limits depending on numerous parameters. Electrohydrodynamics (electric fields acting on the fluid) have been identified as one method to overcome such limitations. An electronically controllable two phase heat exchange device (eHEX) will be designed and built from Additive Manufacturing techniques. The eHEX will comprise a hermetically sealed metallic chamber (such as vapour chamber or heat pipe) charged with a dielectric thermal fluid, with an internal insulated high voltage electrode. A high voltage in the electrode creates electrohydrodynamic forces within the fluid which will control and re-distribute it internally. This redistributed fluid will allow thermal energy transfer to continue via renewed fluid circulation for vaporisation and condensation. The behaviour of the fluid in the eHEX will correspond to the input voltage characteristics, and thus thermal performance of the eHEX can be controlled electronically, regulating the passage of heat as required. The project is a multi-disciplinary combination of thermal management, multi-material additive manufacturing (metal, ceramic), and electronic control collaborating between ATU, and leading manufacturers and research institutes.

The main partner in this project is Nexalus Ltd who design and manufacture thermal cooling and heat recovery solutions, re-deploying excess heat from electronics for alternative use. Other key collaborators with ATU Sligo and Galway, include Trinity College Dublin, Siemens Gas Turbines Sweden, and Fraunhofer IKTS.


The eHEX will require research from the researcher with collaborating partners to:

Scale from parameters such as electrohydronamics, thermal load, fluid, materials etc. in order to manufacture a multimaterial eHEX demonstrator, including the experimental testing of eHEX prototype, development of digital twin and trials of eHEX prototypes with Industrial partner.

Profile Requirements

Motivated candidates with strong interests in heat transfer and additive manufacture should apply. Candidates should have a 1st Class honours B.Sc. (essential) and/or a M.Sc. (desirable) in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or relevant discipline. Candidates with a 2:1 degree and with experience in heat transfer, or additive manufacture of metals will also be considered. ATU welcomes applications from eligible International candidates.

A minimum of 2.1 honours degree (Level 8) in a relevant discipline.

Project Duration:

48 months (PhD)

Preferred Location:

ATU Sligo


Application Form / Terms of Conditions can be obtained on the website:

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm, (GMT) Monday 29th April, 2024.

Only selected applicants will be called for an online interview (shortlisting may apply).

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

TU RISE is co-financed by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the ERDF Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021- 27 and the Northern & Western Regional Programme 2021-27.
Funding for this Project includes:
• A student stipend (usually tax-exempt) valued at €22,000 per annum
• Annual waivers of postgraduate tuition fee
• Extensive research training programme
• Support for travel, consumables and dissemination expenses
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