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Featured Profile: Bill Ma

Bill Ma

Dr. Hongbin “Bill” Ma is hot on the energy trail.

Heat transfer – transmitting heat from a high temperature object to a lower temperature object – is a potential source of energy. It is also increasingly important in high performance electronics, with higher heat loads placed on ever smaller packages. Ma, with a team of other University of Missouri researchers, has developed new technologies that transfer heat more efficiently than conventional systems, allowing electronic components to cool more quickly.

The innovations have earned their inventors one patent, with another pending.  Based on the technologies, an investor from California has teamed up with Ma to form ThermAvant Technologies. The company has manufactured and sold the thermal solutions to five of the nation’s largest defense contractors.

Ma is working with several leading defense contractors and military agencies to integrate the technologies into military and commercial systems. He also hopes to develop a new way to stabilize surgery patients on operating tables, preventing hypothermia. In addition, Ma is working on gloves that would harness heat from a person’s arm to warm the fingers.

Dr. Bill Ma is a professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and director of Center for Thermal Management at MU’s College of Engineering. He has written over 132 journal papers on heat transfer as well as one book titled “Oscillating Heat Pipes.” He holds 4 patents, with 5 patents pending.

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Related Initiative(s):
Sustainable Energy