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Associate Dean Tzou’s book updated, back on shelves

Tzou

In the second edition of his book Macro- to Microscale Heat Transfer: The Lagging Behavior, James C. Dowell Professor Robert Tzou, MU Engineering’s associate dean for academic programs, proposes a dual phase heat transfer lag model to unite the existing eleven heat transfer models on the basis of finite response times.

In the second edition of his book Macro- to Microscale Heat Transfer: The Lagging Behavior, James C. Dowell Professor Robert Tzou, MU Engineering’s associate dean for academic programs, proposes a dual phase heat transfer lag model to unite the existing eleven heat transfer models on the basis of finite response times.

The first edition of the book came out in 1996 and has been out of print for two years. Tzou said he began thinking of a second edition by 2004. He noted also that starting about five years ago, there was increased interest in biothermal transport — heat transport in and through blood and tissues — and those applications accelerated the revision process.

Because of his increased administrative load, the revision had been postponed, but when the publisher Wiley approached him about it, he committed to completing it and spent the last two years working on it.

“Physical foundations have deepened and this theory has acquired rigorous physical support,” Tzou said. “Experimental evidences have increased. Credit goes to colleagues working in this area for the past 17 years.”

The mechanical engineer said there are two reasons for non-equilibrium lagging: The laziness of systems so that no matter what you do, heat is not carried away, and at the microscale, demands are so great the system simply can’t respond. He said this is true in all cases — metals, semi-conductors and the human body.

“Lagging captures the finite time required for the various microstructural interactions to take place,” he said.

Tzou currently is involved in a National Institutes of Health research proposal on campus with two mechanical engineering colleagues, Hao Li and Vitaly Gruzdev, an MU computer scientist, Chi-Ren Shyu, and two MU School of Medicine Dermatologists, Karen Edison and Kara Braudis.

In participating in collaborative research with MU medical clinicians on a project funded by a sizeable grant from NIH, Tzou is engaged in an endeavor he encourages all engineering faculty members to pursue.

“Citation by peers and these kinds of funded research collaborations enhance our efforts to elevate our prominence among our (Association of American Universities) peers,” Tzou said, in reference to one of MU’s priorities.

Tzou’s group is investigating the use of a femtosecond laser for the detection and treatment of basal cell and melanoma cancers.

He said the femtosecond laser has the unique capability to both detect and treat these cancers and, of course, he is able to apply his phase lag theory to explain such capability.

“Only the femtosecond laser will induce florescence. And once we see something, then we can immediately blast it,” Tzou said. “And because the femtosecond laser seals the wound immediately without collateral damage, it reduces inflammation. That also means the risk of reoccurrence is reduced.”

The researchers are developing the concept to detect and treat basal cell carcinoma and once perfected, they will tackle melanoma.

“I am passionate about this research,” Tzou said. “To make this work is my dream.

“My work has been a journey, and I appreciate the opportunity to expand it in these ways toward the end of my academic career,” Tzou said of his book and the femtosecond laser collaboration.