Course Logistics

Regularly Updated Information

Supplemental Information

Web Sites Related to Electronics Cooling

On-line versions of Journals at Millar Library


Thermal Management Measurements provides a survey of laboratory-based techniques used to diagnose electronic cooling problems, and to obtain design data for developing thermal management solutions. The course provides significant practical experience: students design and build their own experiments, they take and analyze their own data.

The first three weeks of the course is a review of the sensors and good practices for measuring temperature, pressure, velocity, flow rate, and heat load in electronic systems. After refreshing these basic skills, students apply these techniques to physical experiments involving conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer. Students learn how to build mock systems useful in the prototyping phase of equipment development. They learn how to measure fan and system curves, and how to experimentally determine heat sink performance. They learn how to measure heat transfer coefficients for components on printed circuit boards.

Measurements are made with hand-held instruments, bench-top instruments, and with computer controlled data acquisition systems. Data reduction techniques involving centering (removal of bias error) and uncertainty analysis are used extensively.

A significant amount of class time will be spent in the lab: doing demonstrations, building experiments, installing sensors, and making measurements. Completion of the homework assignments will require spending additional time in the lab during open lab hours.




Gerald Recktenwald, Associate Professor, Mechanical and Materials Engineering Department
Engineering Building Suite 400, 725-4290,

Office Hours

Time and Place

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:00 - 1:50 PM, Engineering Building, Room 510 and Room 520


There is no required textbook. Extensive class notes will be provided. Students would benefit from the book by Azar, but it is expensive and not required.

Kaveh Azar, editor, Thermal Measurements in Electronics Cooling, 1997, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL

Basic textbooks in heat transfer and instrumentation will also be useful for the course. Students in our BSME program will have copies of these books:

Frank P. Incropera and David P. Dewitt, Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer, fifth ed., 2001, Wiley and Sons, New York.
Richard S. Figliola and Donald E. Beasley, Theory and Design of Mechanical Measurements, fourth ed., 2005, Wiley and Sons, New York.


One midterm exam will be given. Discuss any potential conflicts well before the exam dates.

If you have a disability and are in need of academic accommodations, please notify me (G. Recktenwald) immediately to arrange needed supports. If you need information about disabilities, please contact the Disability Resource Center on campus at 503-725-4150.

Students are expected to turn in homework problems that are substantially the result of their own work. Study groups, discussion of assignments among students, collective brainstorming for solutions, and sharing of advice is encouraged. Copying of assignments, computer files, graphs, or other means of duplicating material that is turned in for grading is expressly forbidden. Cheating on exams will result in a zero grade for the exam.

Back to Table of Contents


Data acquisition equipment is controlled by LabVIEW. MATLAB is used for interactive numerical analysis and programming. Students are expected to have some basic proficiency with MATLAB. Instruction in LabVIEW will be provided as part of the class. Students will have access to MATLAB and LabVIEW on computers in the MCECS network.

Back to Table of Contents


Cumulative grades will be based on the following weights

15 % Lab Notebook
25 % Weekly Lab Assignments
30 % Midterm Exam
30 % Final Project