pyranometer    heat sink simulation    evacuated tube solar collector    scanning electron microscopy image    altitude chamber

L to R: solar pyranometer; numerical simulation of pin fin heat exchanger; evacuated tube solar thermal collector; scanning electron microscopy of lead-free, fluxless solder joint; hypobaric temperature chamber for altitude simulation


Dr. Rhee's research efforts include applications of thermal management techniques of interest to the local industry. She has studied thermal mechanisms in high-power electronics, such as processors, custom microelectronics, and light emitting diodes (LEDs) for over 15 years. The invention of the processor in particular has had an enormous impact on society through advances in information technology, communication, national defense, and medical technology. The theoretical limits of air-cooling, the ever-shrinking electronics packaging volume, and design challenges of liquid-cooling are some of the current limitations to the advancement of such devices today. More information on this departmental specialty can be found at the web site for the Electronics Cooling Laboratory.

In addition, Dr. Rhee has been dabbling in alternative energy, in particular, solar thermal technology. Due to the inherent inefficiencies in heat-to-electricity conversion, the direct utilization of heat offers the possibility of greater energy utilization. Furthermore, there are thermal management challenges in many alternative energy technologies that must be solved before they can become viable.

Engineering education is another area of active research by Dr. Rhee. Interests include integrated multidisciplinary education for engineers and all students; and technology in engineering education, including (but not limited to) online and flipped modes of instruction, and the use of games in higher education.

Alternative Energy
Solar Hot Water Heating (2010-2013)
Wind Forces on Solar Heliostats (2010-2013)
Zero-Emissions House (1/1/10 - 6/30/2012)
Cogenerating Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Collector (AY 2007-2008)
Solar Ice Maker (AY 2007-2008)

Electronics Cooling Research
Transient and Steady-State Measurements of Thermal Resistance (2010-2014)
Lead-free Fluxless Solder Bonding (AY 2007-2008)
Conjugate Conduction-Convection Thermal Management of LEDs (2004-2007)
Experimental Investigation of Thermal Interface Materials (AY 2006-2007)
Application of Microchannel Heat Transfer Enhancement
Characterization of Airflow Impedance for Two Types of Telecommunications Chassis (1/03-12/03) more
Preliminary Investigation of Forced Cooling at High Altitudes (1/02-12/02) 

Engineering Education

Dr. Rhee recently completed a $150K grant from the National Science Foundation to pilot a co-instruction model for multidisciplinary senior projects in sustainability (1/30/10-6/30/2013). Her co-awardees include Dr. David Parent (Electrical Engineering), Dr. Anu Basu (Business), Dr. Leslie Speer (Industrial Design), and Dr. Larry Gerston (Political Science). The huge multidisciplinary student team, co-advised by the entire faculty team, designed, built, and showcased a Zero-Emissions house during the academic year of 2010-2011. For more information on this project, please refer to the official project website, Co-instruction Model for Multidisciplinary Senior Projects in Sustainability.