Vijay Dhir


Lecture Information:
  • April 6, 2018
  • 2:00 PM
  • ECS 241
Photo of Vijay Dhir

Speaker Bio

Vijay K. Dhir, distinguished professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, served as dean of UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering & Applied Science from 2003 to 2016. Born in India, Dhir received his Bachelor of Science degree from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh, India, and his Master of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. Dhir joined the faculty at UCLA in 1974 and served in a number of leadership roles before his appointment as Dean. In 2006, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering – among the highest honors awarded to engineers – for his work in boiling heat transfer and nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics and safety. Dhir received the 2004 Max Jakob Memorial Award of ASME and AIChE and was selected to deliver the Thurston Lecture of ASME in 2008. He is a fellow of ASME and the American Nuclear Society. In 2004, he was selected as an inductee into the University of Kentucky’s Engineering Hall of Distinction. He has also received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Heat Transfer Memorial Award in the Science category and the Donald Q. Kern award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He is recipient of the Technical Achievement Award of the Thermal Hydraulics Division of the American Nuclear Society. Twice he has received the Best Paper Award for papers published in ASME Journal of Heat Transfer. He received an honorary Ph.D. in Engineering from University of Kentucky, Lexington and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the ICCES conference. He is also an honorary member of ASME and received the 75th Anniversary Medal from the Heat Transfer Division of ASME. He was recognized in 2013 as Educator of the Year by the Engineering Council. Dhir served as senior technical editor for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Journal of Heat Transfer from 2000 to 2005. Prior to being named senior technical editor, he also served as the Journal’s associate editor. He is a former assistant editor of Applied Mechanics Review. He has served on the advisory boards of several other journals. Recently Dhir completed his service to the National Research Council’s Steering Committee on the “Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space.” He currently serves on the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety and Security of U.S. Nuclear Plants including Spent Fuel Pools. Dr. Dhir leads the Boiling Heat Transfer Lab, which has conducted pioneering work in fundamental and applied sciences involving boiling, an efficient process of heat removal. Currently the lab is involved in the study of flow boiling, micro-gravity boiling, and nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics. Recently experiments aboard the International Space Station were completed under a NASA research program to examine the effects of microgravity on boiling. More than forty PhD students and forty MS students have graduated under Dhir’s supervision. He is author or co-author of over 350 papers published in archival journals and proceedings of conferences.


Engineering education is going through a change in pedagogy and modes of delivery. In the first part of this talk we discuss as to how the offering of engineering curriculum needs to broaden and go across disciplinary boundaries. Ubiquitousness of information technology is altering the modes of delivery including personalized learning. Entrepreneurship is becoming an integral part of the learning experience. In the second part we discuss the development and validation of a numerical simulation tool for modeling of pool boiling phenomenon. Boiling is a highly efficient heat removal process, but at the same time it is a very complex process. In the past we have been content with development of correlations to describe the process. However, that approach becomes very inefficient and time consuming when experiments need to be conducted at gravity levels that vary over several orders of magnitude. In this context, superiority of the numerical simulation tool is highlighted.