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About InnoTherm

Sustainability challenges such as climate change, food, water and environmental issues call for researchers in different disciplines around the globe to take action and work collaboratively. Over 90% of our energy consumption and utilization involves heat, and thus heat will play an indispensable role is solving global challenges such as climate change. Thermal energy is everywhere, from electricity generation to maintaining human comfort, from materials processing to food preparation, from computer chip cooling to battery operation safety.

The International Colloquia on Thermal Innovations (InnoTherm) series aims to stimulate and highlight innovations and advances in theory, materials, devices, and systems for efficient thermal energy conversion, storage, transport and utilization. The colloquia include seminars and panel discussions, with speakers from around the world and across different disciplines. The colloquia are delivered online and interactive with audience.

Sponsored by MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering
Organizers: Gang Chen (Chair), Asegun Henry (co-chair)
John Lienhard, and Evelyn Wang

Next InnoTherm Colloquium

Colloquium No. 15: Dry is the new cool: advanced dehumidification research for high performance cooling

Tuesday October 27
10:00 - 11:30 am US EDT (2:00 - 3:30 pm GMT)
Zoom Webinar
Zoom Webinar Link: https://mit.zoom.us/j/95435192213
Join by Phone: US +1 646 558 8656 or +1 669 900 6833
Webinar ID: 954 3519 2213
International Dial-in Number: https://mit.zoom.us/u/ah6xOM17O

Moisture condensation from air is a substantial fraction of cooling loads in buildings. Further, excess or insufficient humidity can promote the growth of harmful microorganisms. This seminar will discuss several recent innovations in dehumidification systems. Topics to be covered include: the role of latent vs. sensible heat and how separating their removal can improve the efficiency of both processes; liquid and solid desiccants; membrane dehumidification; and novel system architectures.

Reinhard Radermacher, University of Maryland
Forrest Meggers, Princeton University
Eric Kozubal, NREL
David Claridge, Texas A&M
Les Norford (Moderator), MIT

Upcoming InnoTherm Colloquia

    Tuesday, November 10: Thermal Desalination by Membrane Distillation

    Abstract: Membrane distillation (MD) separates water vapor from a warm liquid using a porous hydrophobic membrane. A liquid-vapor interface is formed at the entrance to each pore, and vapor passes through the pores to be condensed on the other side of the membrane. MD is advantageous for desalinating high salinity feeds, for which high osmotic pressure makes reverse osmosis impractical. MD research has focused on raising energy efficiency and preventing pore wetting caused by scaling or fouling. Efficient designs recuperate the latent heat of condensation and minimize temperature differences. This panel will discuss MD configurations, scaling control, direct heating of membranes, and performance tests on pilot-scale systems. Today’s MD performance can match best-in-class, large-scale thermal desalination systems, but with compact designs that do not require large metal heat exchangers.


    David Warsinger, Purdue University
    Shihong Lin, Vanderbilt University
    Qilin Li, Rice University
    Guillermo Zaragoza (Bio), Solar Desalination Unit, Almeria Solar Platform
    John Lienhard (Moderator), MIT

Past Colloquia

  • Colloquium No. 14: The Future of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)
    Fred Morse (Bio), President, Morse Associate, Inc., former Senior Advisor at Abengoa Solar
    Avi Shultz, Program Manager, DoE CSP
    Mark Mehos, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
    Clifford Ho, Sandia National Laboratories
    Julián Blanco (Bio), Director, CIEMAT-Plataforma Solar de Almería, Spain
    Zhifeng Wang, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Ase Henry (Moderator), MIT Tuesday October 13
    Youtube link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 13: Thermal Materials for Building Walls and Windows
    Jan Kosny, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
    Elise Strobach (Bio), Co-founder and CEO of Aeroshield Inc., US
    Long Yi, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    Leon Glicksman (Moderator), MIT
    Tuesday September 29
    Youtube link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 12: Personal Thermal Comfort
    Renkun Chen, University of California, San Diego
    Yi Cui, Stanford University
    Jintu Fan, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
    Svetlana Boriskina (Moderator), MIT
    Tuesday September 15, 2020
    Youtube link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 11: Earth's Energy Balance
    Daniel Murphy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    Graeme Stephens, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    Veerabhadran Ramanathan, University of California, San Diego
    Kyle Armour, University of Washington
    John Marshall (Moderator), MIT
    Wednesday September 2, 2020
    Youtube link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 10: Thermal Management of Electric Vehicles: New Engineering Challenges
    Cristina Amon, University of Toronto, Canada
    Jürgen Köhler, University of Braunschweig, Germany
    Stefan Elbel, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Jürgen Wertenbach (Bio), retired, Senior Engineer Emeritus, Daimler, Germany
    Aydin Nabovati (Bio) (Moderator), Tesla
    Wednesday August 19, 2020
    Youtube link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 9: Significant Role of Hydrogen toward Sustainable Development Goals
    Ken Okazaki, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
    Arun Majumdar, Stanford University
    Yasuyuki Takata, Kyushu University, Japan
    Junichiro Shiomi (Moderator), University of Tokyo, Japan
    Wednesday August 5, 2020
    Youtube link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 8: High Thermal Conductivity Materials
    David Broido, Boston College
    Bara Cola, Georgia Tech
    Yongjie Hu, UCLA
    Sara Rona (Bio), Sabic Inc., Netherlands
    Zhiting Tian, (Moderator), Cornell University
    Wednesday July 22, 2020
    Youtube link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 7: Extracting Water from Air
    Jean Humphrey, Johns Hopkins
    Guihua Yu, The University of Texas at Austin
    Peng Wang, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
    Ruzhu Wang, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
    Tiejun Zhang, (Moderator), Khalifa University, UAE
    Wednesday July 8, 2020
    Youtube link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 6: Battery Thermal Management and Safety
    Yi Cui , Stanford University
    Eric Darcy, NASA
    Ahmad Pesaran, NREL
    Chao-Yang Wang, Pennsylvania State University
    Cristina Amon, (Moderator), University of Toronto
    Wednesday June 17, 2020
    Youtube link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 5: Getting the Heat Out – Electronics Cooling from Smartphones to Data Centers
    Ken Goodson, Stanford University
    Dereje Agonafer (Moderator), University of Texas at Arlington
    Wednesday June 3, 2020
    Youtube link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 4: HVAC Systems: Centralized or Decentralized
    Yi Jiang, Tsinghua University, China
    Ravi Prasher, LBL Associate Director
    Alexis Abramson, Dean, School of Engineering at Dartmouth College
    Satish Kumar, President and Executive Director, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy, India
    Yangying Zhu (Moderator), UC Santa Barbara
    Wednesday May 20, 2020
    Youtube link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 3: The Brayton Battery
    Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel laureate, Stanford University
    Alejandro Datas (Bio), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain, Asegun Henry, MIT, Andrew Ponec (Bio), Antora Energy, Mahesh Mahesh Venkataraman (Bio), 1414 Degrees, Australia, Craig Turchi (Moderator), NREL
    Wednesday May 13, 2020
    Youtube Link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 2: Using the Cold Universe as a Sustainable Energy Resource
    Ronggui Yang (Bio), Professor in the School of Energy and Power Engineering at Huazhong University of Science and Technology
    David Sailor, Arizona State University, Yuan Yang, Columbia University, Junichiro Shiomi (Moderator), University of Tokyo
    Wednesday May 6, 2020
    Youtube Link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
  • Colloquium No. 1: Five Grand Challenges in Thermal Science and Engineering for Deep Decarbonization
    Arun Majumdar, Jay Precourt Provostial Chair Professor at Stanford University (Bio)
    Ravi Prasher, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Asegun Henry, MIT, Chris Dames (Moderator), UC Berkeley
    Wednesday April 29, 2020
    Youtube Link
    Questions from Zoom Q&A
    Presentation slides

Contact Us

For questions, suggestions of speakers and topics, please email innotherm-adm@mit.edu