National Science Foundation
Cooling Technologies Research Center
Purdue University - School of Mechanical Engineering logo

Center Vision

CTRC Research Image

The Cooling Technologies Research Center (CTRC) addresses research and development needs of members from diverse industries and product lines in the area of high-performance heat removal from compact spaces through member-directed investigations with a product-oriented focus. All product sectors in the electronics industry face critical cooling challenges, and the Center brings together a faculty team with expertise in diverse fields to address these needs.

The CTRC was established in 1999, operated as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) for all three phases of operation from 2002-2017, and continues to operate as a graduated Center that is selfsustaining with industry membership funding. The NSF I/UCRC program provides a framework for partnership between universities and industry, featuring high-quality, industrially relevant fundamental research, strong industrial support of and collaboration in research and education, and direct transfer of university-developed ideas, research results, and technology to the participating industry members. Following this pre-competitive approach, CTRC works together with the different industry partners to develop cutting-edge thermal management technologies. In recognition of these relationships the Center was award the National Science Foundation's 2011 Alexander Schwarzkopf Prize for Technology Innovation.

This Center provides an excellent vehicle for students to be trained in practical applications relevant to industry. The Center’s strong multi‐disciplinary culture ensures that tomorrow’s research leaders understand the team‐based, problem‐solving skills needed for successful research. Preparing students to continue pushing boundaries in this remarkable field is one of the Center’s most important goals and significant successes. Over 100 students have graduated from the CTRC, more than half of whom have had been employed with member companies, with 25 of the students or visiting researchers being in faculty positions at prestigious universities around the world. Nearly all graduate students in the CTRC have participated in at least one industrial internship.