In the Methods for Systems Analysis Laboratory, researchers analyze a variety of complex physical systems, with a focus on thermal-fluids, energy, and environmental systems.  

The Methods for Systems Analysis Laboratory (MSAL) was founded in 2008 and continues to grow with new projects and new directions in ongoing research.

Current Research Areas:

  • Creating modeling tools for improving the energy efficiency and environmental sustainability of data centers
  • Assessing and reducing the environmental impact of the food system
  • Developing models for thermal energy storage and waste heat recovery materials and systems

MSAL is part of the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center
(I/UCRC) on Energy-Smart Electronic Systems (ES2). The group has strong collaboration with several other research groups, notably the Laboratory for Advanced Thermal and Fluid Systems (LATFS) and Thermal and Flow Management of Multiscale Systems (TFM2S).


  • Welcome to the group:
    • Tara Housen, who is working on a collaborative effort on improving the energy efficiency of cannabis grow facilities
    • Mai Khuc, who is working on the economic analysis of scale-up of data center waste heat recovery for district heating and cooling
    • Anh Trinh, who is working on mathematical models of nano-enhanced phase change materials
    • Ben Jones, who is working on coupling flow network models with commercial CFD simulations of data centers
  • Congratulations to Rehan Khalid, who is interning at Schneider Electric
  • Congratulations to Li Chen, who will be interning at Nokia Bell Labs with the help of an NSF INTERN supplement
  • Congratulations to Victoria Margenat, who completed a survey of carbon mitigation strategies by various geopolitical entities
  • The group has recent publications at the 2021 ASME InterPACK (3 publications led by Rehan Khalid and one led by Lucas Arrivo), 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference (led by Li Chen), and journal publications in ASME Journal of Electronic Packaging and International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer by Aaron Wemhoff
  • Aaron Wemhoff recently received a grant from the PA Dept of Environmental Protection to collaborate with Villanova Dining Services on a carbon eco-labeling initiative



  • Li Chen: Data centers and environmental sustainability
  • Rehan Khalid: Boosted waste heat recovery in data centers
  • Anh Trinh: Enhanced thermal transport in composite materials


  • Lucas Arrivo: Metal foam-based microevaporator cold plates for electronics thermal management
  • Ben Jones: Coupling CFD with externally-dictated controls algorithms


  • Mai Khuc: Economic analysis of two-phase cooling + boosted waste heat recovery in data centers
  • Victoria Margenat: A survey of carbon taxation and cap-and-trade policies
  • Tara Housen: Energy-efficiency improvements for dehumidification in cannabis grow facilities

Updated 9/7/2021

Dr. Aaron Wemhoff


Aaron P. Wemhoff, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Interested in joining?

View the Graduate Assistantships Funding Opportunities