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Heat Transfer in Electronic Systems


Credit Hours:


Learning Objective:

This course introduces concepts in the thermal management of electronics systems, to provide students with an appreciation for the application of heat transfer first principles to electronics cooling and packaging problems in industry, as well as to raise awareness of the need for energy efficiency in cooling of electronic systems. Students will be equipped with tools to approach existing industry applications and evaluate emerging thermal management techniques.


Traditional and innovative methods for heat dissipation from electronic systems, and assessment of these methods over a range of applications and scales, will be covered. Special emphasis is given to industry applications with guest lectures to be delivered by experts to discuss thermal management trends.

Topics Covered:

Introduction to Thermal Management (heat transfer modes, electronics packaging, contact and spreading resistances, heat sink design); Cooling Technologies (thermal interface and phase change materials, passive and novel air cooling approaches, microchannels, jet impingement, immersion cooling, heat pipes and vapor chambers, thermoelectrics); Applications (avionics, data centers, mobile, internet of things, high-performance computing, automotive, etc.)


ME 315 Heat and Mass Transfer (or equivalent undergraduate-level heat transfer course). The class content is structured in such a way to allow talented undergraduate students to successfully complete the coursework.

Applied / Theory:

50 / 50

Web Content:

Syllabus, lecture notes, and homework assignments (


Bi-weekly homework assignments, typically consisting of several problems and/or case studies. Homework assignments and design exercises will lead to the development of tools for use beyond the classroom.


One semester project will be assigned midway during the semester. An electronic system is to be evaluated and the course concepts applied to develop an open-ended thermal management solution. Students will have to submit a proposal and written report.


One midterm exam.


Official textbook information is now listed in the Schedule of Classes. NOTE: Textbook information is subject to be changed at any time at the discretion of the faculty member. If you have questions or concerns please contact the academic department. The course will not closely follow a specific textbook. Course-specific textbooks will be cited in the notes, but are not required. Copies of course notes and any specific papers assigned for reading will be provided.
It is recommended that students have a general heat transfer textbook available for reference (e.g., T.L. Bergman, A.S. Lavine, F.P. Incropera, D.P. DeWitt, Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer, Wiley, 2011)

Computer Requirements:

ProEd minimum computer requirements.

ProEd Minimum Requirements: