Workshop Addresses Opportunities of AI for Deciphering Thermal and Energy Science and Engineering

Yoonjin Won, UCI associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, speaks to multidisciplinary researchers from around the country who attended the AI for Thermal Energy Science Workshop at UCI in April.

May 2, 2023 - More than 80 researchers from around the country gathered at UCI to discuss the role of advanced AI and machine learning techniques in thermal energy science and their applications at the AI for Thermal Energy Science Workshop April 17–18, 2023.

Heat transfer is central to energy conversion and thermal management systems, where the ability to understand and design these systems is critical to future reductions in carbon emissions. A long-standing challenge that prevents a comprehensive understanding of heat transfer phenomena is the lack of diagnostic, analytic and predictive tools that can carry out fundamental investigations of flows near liquid-vapor boundaries or temperature maps. Recent advances in computer vision and machine learning present an opportunity to overcome these challenges.

Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, UCI Office of Research and Genentech Prescient Design, the workshop covered a range of topics related to AI and thermal energy science, including core AI technologies, current implementation status, challenges and future outlooks. ONR program officer Mark Spector welcomed everyone to the program, and Yoonjin Won, UCI associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, presented opening remarks. The two-day gathering featured two government panels, five panels, five invited speakers, breakout sessions, and a poster session.

“This event provided a unique opportunity for researchers to initiate conversations between multiple disciplines and

The two-day workshop featured government panels, invited speakers, breakout meetings and a poster session.

explore how AI tools can advance the fundamental understanding of heat transfer physics and predict them,” said Won. “Attendees were able to share their knowledge and insights, identify new research areas and connect with collaborators to develop innovative solutions for some of the most pressing challenges in this field.”

The workshop was organized by a multi-institutional team and included Won as well as Aparna Chandramowlishwaran, UCI associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Anima Anandkumar, CalTech Bren Professor of computer science; Kyunghyun Cho, New York University associate professor of computer and data science; and William King, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign professor of mechanical science and engineering. In addition, Pramod Khargonekar, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Ramin Bostanabad, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Mike Pritchard, associate professor of Earth system science, all from UCI, served on panels along with researchers from 14 other universities.

– Lori Brandt