Conducting both basic and applied research in the areas of heat and mass transfer including thermal design and modeling (computational and experimental), heat transfer augmentation investigations, feasibility, optimization and parametric studies for various engineering applications.
Dr. Vafai's interests are in studies in heat and mass transfer and fluid mechanics. In particular, Dr. Vafai has conducted extensive investigations in the areas of transport through porous media, multiphase transport in porous media, high energy storage and high heat flux applications. He is widely referenced and considered to be a leading figure in most of these areas. In addition, he has worked in thermal design and modeling (computational and experimental), heat transfer augmentation investigations, feasibility, optimization and parametric studies for various engineering applications. Specifically, he has conducted both basic and applied research in various areas related to heat and mass transfer such as Fundamental Aspects of Transport through Porous Media (Theoretical, Numerical and Experimental), Multiphase Transport through Porous Media (Theoretical and Numerical) and Analysis of High Energy Release /Storage Systems (Numerical and Theoretical)and Melting and Solidification (Numerical).
In particular, Dr. Vafai is well known for his pioneering work for phenomenological description, modeling and analysis for single phase and multiphase transport through porous media. For example, in a series of basic research investigations Dr. Vafai had analyzed several fundamental aspects of fluid flow and heat transfer through saturated porous medium for the first time. These aspects are now widely used in the literature pertaining to this area. In another series of basic research investigations, Dr. Vafai provides a rich and vivid presentation of the physics of the non-equilibrium heat and mass transfer in a porous bed as well as a thorough discussion of the thermal interactions between the solid and vapor phases and their effects on the fluid flow and heat transfer. Dr. Vafai had presented an in-depth and a rigorous analysis and the full simulation of multiphase transport through a porous medium. Furthermore, he has established the ground rules for the validity of local thermal equilibrium, two dimensionality effects, internal and external phase change effects and the crucial concepts of early and late times. He is widely cited in these areas and his advice is actively sought by the international community, the industry and the national laboratories for his expertise.