Information for

Richard Culham

Vice-Dean Engineering

Contact InformationRichard Culham

Phone: 519-888-4567 x30291
Location: CPH 3653


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.

Research Interests

  • Analytical Modeling
  • Experimental Methods
  • Thermal System Optimization
  • Thermal Interfaces
  • Microscale And Nanoscale Heat Transfer
  • Contact And Spreading Resistance
  • Automotive
  • Energy
  • Nanotechnology
  • Entropy Generation Minimization
  • Energy Storage
  • Power Systems
  • Nano-electronics


  • 1989, Doctorate, Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo
  • 1979, Master's, Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo
  • 1978, Bachelor's, Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo


  • ECE 309 - Introduction to Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Makinde, OD and Khan, WA and Culham, JR, MHD variable viscosity reacting flow over a convectively heated plate in a porous medium with thermophoresis and radiative heat transfer, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 93, 2016, 595 - 604
  • Khan, ZH and Culham, JR and Khan, WA and Pop, I, Triple convective-diffusion boundary layer along a vertical flat plate in a porous medium saturated by a water-based nanofluid, International Journal of Thermal Sciences, 90, 2015, 53 - 61
  • Khan, Waqar A and Culham, J Richard and Makinde, O Daniel, Combined heat and mass transfer of third-grade nanofluids over a convectively-heated stretching permeable surface, The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 93(10), 2015, 1880 - 1888
  • Khan, WA and Culham, JR and Khan, ZH and Pop, I, Triple diffusion along a horizontal plate in a porous medium with convective boundary condition, International Journal of Thermal Sciences, 86, 2014, 60 - 67
  • Galvis, E and Yarusevych, S and Culham, JR, Incompressible laminar developing flow in microchannels, Journal of Fluids Engineering, 134(1), 2012
  • Eisakhani, Anita and Gao, Xiujie and Gorbet, Rob and Culham, J Richard, Electrical Resistance and Natural Convection Heat Transfer Modeling of Shape Memory Alloy Wires, ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, January 2014
  • Lee, Bong Joo and Culham, JR, Effectiveness Analysis of Non-Mechanical Micro-Valvular Conduit in Single Phase Flow, ASME 2012 10th International Conference on Nanochannels, Microchannels, and Minichannels collocated with the ASME 2012 Heat Transfer Summer Conference and the ASME 2012 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting, January 2012, 393 - 403