University of California, Santa Barbara

Faculty Profile

Walter Yuen


Mechanical Engineering

Walter Yuen



tel: (805) 893-3892
fax: (805) 893-8651

Personal web site

Research Description

Professor Yuen's general research interests are in two-phase flow, radiation heat transfer, fire and combustion, melting/solidification heat transfer, and numerical computation.


Walter W. Yuen is a Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is active in ASME and AIAA. His research has been funded by NSF, NRC, DOE and NASA. In the area of radiation heat transfer and combustion, Professor Yuen had received three research grants from NSF and published over fifty journal articles. He is the originator of the generalized zonal method (GZM) and scattering mean beam length, which are essential for the development of efficient computational scheme for radiation heat transfer. He was an invited participant in a 1996 workshop on "High Performance Computing in Radiation Heat Transfer" sponsored by NSF. Professor Yuen also received funding from NASA to study the fundamentals of metal combustion in relation to oxygen safety and published actively in the area. He is also active in fire research. His is interested in the role of radiation heat transfer in flame spread, flash over and other important fire safety issues. Since 1990, Professor Yuen expanded his scope of research to Reactor Safety and the fundamentals of multi-phase flow. He is the principal researcher responsible for the development of the two computer codes, PM-ALPHA and ESPROSE.m which are the most advanced state-of-the-art numerical tools for analysis of Steam Explosion. He is a co-PI on a number of research grants from DOE and NRC and co-author on over 30 archival and conference publications in these areas. Professor Yuen's current research includes a project on cooling of opto-electronic packages, and the development of numerical models for multi-dimensional non-gray radiative heat transfer for fire safety applications.


  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Isla Vista Commission
  • Academic Senate

Selected Publications

  • The Role of Thermal Radiation on the Initiation of Flashover in a Compartment Fire, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 47/19-20, 2004, 4265-4276, Walter Yuen and W.K. Chow, web link
  • A Practical Model on Flame Spreading over Materials, ASME-JSME Thermophysics Conference, Proceeding of the 6th Conference, 2003, Walter Yuen, C.W. Leung, and W.K. Chow, web link
  • Combined Conductive/Radiative Heat Transfer in High Porosity Fibrous Insulation Materials: Theory and Experiment, ASME-JSME Thermophysics Conference, presented at the 6th conference, 2003, Walter Yuen, E. Takara, and G.R. Cunnington, web link
  • Experimental Simulation of Microinteractions in Large Scale Explosion, Nuclear Engineering & Design, 189, 1999, 163-178, Walter Yuen, X. Chen, R. Luo and T.G. Theofanous, web link
  • Lower Heat Integrity Under Steam Explosion, Nuclear Engineering & Design, 189, 1999, 7-57, Walter Yuen, T.G. Theofanous, and S. Angelini, web link
  • On the Existence of Multiphase Thermal Detonation, International Journal of Multiphase Flow, 25, 1999, 1505-1519, Walter Yuen and T. G. Theofanous, web link
  • On the Regime of Premixing, Nuclear Engineering & Design, 189, 1999, 139-161, Walter Yuen and T.G. Theofanous, web link
  • The Verification Basis of the ESPROSE.m Code, Nuclear Engineering & Design, 189, 1999, 103-138, Walter Yuen, T.G. Theofanous, K. Freeman and X. Chen, web link
  • The Verification Basis of the PM-ALPHA Code', Nuclear Engineering & Design, 189, 1999, 59-102, Walter Yuen, T.G. Theofanous, and S. Angelini, web link
  • An Experimental Study and Numerical Simulation of Two-Phase Flow of Cryogenic Fluids Through Micro-Channel Heat Exchanger, CRYOCOOLER 10, 10th International Cryocooler Conference, 1998, 497-504, Walter Yuen and I.C. Hsu, web link

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