John Thome

Professor of Heat and Mass Transfer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

Prof. John R. Thome is a well-known expert in the field of two-phase flows and heat transfer, and is highly respected among his colleagues all over the world. He was born in Easton, PA. USA on February 25, 1953.

His research spans nearly all areas of boiling and condensation and two-phase flows, covering both internal flows and external flows, enhanced heat transfer and micro/macro-scale heat transfer. He has made outstanding contributions to two-phase flow and heat transfer, through his research, reference books, teaching, and engineering science and application.

He is a Professor of Heat and Mass Transfer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland since 1998, where his primary research interests are two-phase flow and heat transfer, covering both macro-scale and micro-scale heat transfer (boiling and condensation) and enhanced heat transfer. Prof. Thome is director of the Laboratory of Heat and Mass Transfer at the EPFL with a research staff of about 18–20 and is also Director of the EPFL Doctoral Programme in Energy.

Until the end of 2011, he was also the Director of the ERCOFTAC European Coordination Center (European Research Community On Flow, Turbulence And Combustion) with about 180 affiliated universities, research centers and industrial companies. He was the host of the recent 8th ECI International Boiling and Condensation Heat Transfer Conference in June 2012. He is the Swiss delegate to the Assembly of the International Heat Transfer Conference, which organizes the International Heat Transfer Conference every four years.

He is associate editor of Heat Transfer Engineering and editorial board member of International Journal of Microcale & Nanoscale Thermal and Fluid Transport Phenomena (IJMNTFTP). Prof. Thome received his Ph.D. at Oxford University, England in 1978 and was then an assistant/associate professor at Michigan State University. From 1984 to 1998, he ran a successful international engineering consulting company, until returning to academia in 1998 with his appointment at the EPFL. He is the author of four widely used books: Enhanced Boiling Heat Transfer (Hemisphere/Taylor & Francis, 1990), Convective Boiling and Condensation, 3rd Edition (Oxford University Press, 1994 with J.G. Collier), Wolverine Engineering Databook III (free e-book, 2004 and updated annually, with 21 chapters and over 200 embedded videos) and Nucleate Boiling on Micro-Structured Surfaces (free e-book, 2008 with M.E. Poniewski). He received the ASME Heat Transfer Division’s Best Paper Award in 1998 for a 3-part paper on two-phase flow and flow boiling heat transfer published in the Journal of Heat Transfer. He has received the J&E Hall Gold Medal from the UK Institute of Refrigeration in 2008 for his extensive work on microscale refrigeration heat transfer and the 2010 ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award for his career work on flow pattern based heat transfer models for macro and micro-scale flows.

He has published more than 170 journal papers with more than 3830 citations since joining the EPFL in 1998. He also hosts an annual one-week summer school on “Microscale Single- and Two-Phase Flow and Heat Transfer” each June at the EPFL and bi-annually also hosts the “Boiling” course at the EPFL. Most of his research interests are directed on the joint topic of two-phase flow and two-phase heat transfer, his group at the LTCM lab is one of the world’s premier research groups in his area.

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