Information for

J. Richard Culham

Associate Dean, International; Professor, PEng

Contact InformationJ. Richard Culham

Phone: 519-888-4567 x33839
Location: E3 2133J

Biography Summary

J. Richard Culham is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He is the Associate Dean International in the Faculty of Engineering, a University Research Chair and the Director and founding member of the Microelectronics Heat Transfer Laboratory (MHTL). Professor Culham is also a Fellow  of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO).

As Director of the MHTL, Professor Culham’s research interests involve the modelling and characterization of contacting interfaces and thermal interface materials. His group specializes in the development of analytical and empirical models at the micro- and nano-scales for natural and forced convection cooling, optimization of electronics systems using entropy generation minimization and the characterization of thermophysical properties in electronic and opto-electronic materials.

Professor Culham has many years of experience in modelling and the development of thermoelectric devices. His expertise is related to the thermal management of integrated nano-devices and thermal/electric energy conversion, as well as the modelling and characterization of nano-fluids for heat transport in micro-scale heat exchangers.

Professor Culham has more than 150 publications in refereed journals and conferences in addition to numerous technical reports related to microelectronics cooling.

For more information:

Research Interests

  • Microscale refrigeration
  • Experimental and analytical modeling of nano fluids
  • Characterization and modeling of thermal interface materials
  • Characterization and modeling of thermal electric devices
  • Entropy generation minimization in electronics systems


  • Ph.D., University of Waterloo, 1988
  • M.A.Sc., University of Waterloo, 1979
  • B.A.Sc., University of Waterloo, 1978


Selected/Recent Publications

  • Measurement of Entropy Generation in Microscale Thermal-Fluid System, Saffaripour, M. and Culham, J.R., ASME Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol 132, No. 12, 2010
  • Optimization of Microchannel Heat Sinks Using Entropy Generation Minimization Method, Khan, W., Culham, J.R., and Yovanovich, M.M., IEEE Transactions on Components and Packaging Technologies, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 243-251, 2009.
  • Conduction Shape Factor Models for Hollow Cylinders with Nonuniform Gap Spacing, Teertstra, P.M., Yovanovich, M.M., and Culham, J.R., AIAA Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 28-32, 2009.
  • Thermal Analysis of a Passenger-Loaded Vehicle in Severe Winter Conditions, Karimi, G., Iqbal, S.R., Culham, J.R., ASHRAE HVAC&R Research, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 115-128, 2008.
  • Role of Random Roughness on Thermal Performance in Micro-Fins, Bahrami, M., Yovanovich, M.M., and Culham, J.R., AIAA Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 153-157, 2007.
  • Pressure Drop of Laminar, Fully Developed Flow in Microchannels of Arbitrary Cross Section, Bahrami, M., Yovanovich, M.M., and Culham, J.R., ASME Journal of Fluid Engineering, Vol. 128, September, pp. 870-878, 2006.
University of Waterloo