Chuan-Hua Chen

Chuan-Hua Chen

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Experimental and theoretical research coupling physicochemical hydrodynamics with interfacial engineering

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science
  • Director of Masters Program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 307 Hudson Hall, Dept. Mechanical Engineering, Durham, NC 27708-0300
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-5343
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. Stanford University, 2004

Research Interests

Our research deals with experimental and theoretical investigations of small-scale physicochemical hydrodynamics, where transport and interfacial phenomena closely interact with each other. By manipulating surface tension actively and passively, e.g. using electric fields and surface structures, we are developing innovative solutions for applications ranging from bioanalytical assays to microelectronics cooling.


Fluid Mechanics
Heat Transfer

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2009

Courses Taught

  • ME 392: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 394: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • ME 431L: Heat and Mass Transfer
  • ME 491: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 493: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • ME 494: Engineering Undergraduate Fellows Projects
  • ME 538: Physicochemical Hydrodynamics
  • ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 631: Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
  • ME 701: Capillarity & Wetting
  • ME 758S: Curricular Practical Training
  • MENG 550: Master of Engineering Internship/Project
  • MENG 551: Master of Engineering Internship/Project Assessment

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Guo, HA; Wiedenheft, KF; Chen, C-H, Hotspot Size Effect on Conductive Heat Spreading, IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging and Manufacturing Technology, vol 7 no. 9 (2017), pp. 1459-1464 [10.1109/TCPMT.2017.2704419] [abs].
  • Liu, F; Chavez, RL; Patek, SN; Pringle, A; Feng, JJ; Chen, C-H, Asymmetric drop coalescence launches fungal ballistospores with directionality., Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, vol 14 no. 132 (2017) [10.1098/rsif.2017.0083] [abs].
  • Wiedenheft, KF; Guo, HA; Qu, X; Boreyko, JB; Liu, F; Zhang, K; Eid, F; Choudhury, A; Li, Z; Chen, C-H, Hotspot cooling with jumping-drop vapor chambers, Applied Physics Letters, vol 110 no. 14 (2017), pp. 141601-141601 [10.1063/1.4979477] [abs].
  • Chavez, RL; Liu, F; Feng, JJ; Chen, C-H, Capillary-inertial colloidal catapults upon drop coalescence., Applied Physics Letters, vol 109 no. 1 (2016) [10.1063/1.4955085] [abs].
  • Zhang, K; Liu, F; Williams, AJ; Qu, X; Feng, JJ; Chen, C-H, Self-Propelled Droplet Removal from Hydrophobic Fiber-Based Coalescers., Physical Review Letters, vol 115 no. 7 (2015) [10.1103/physrevlett.115.074502] [abs].