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C. Thomas Avedisian

  • C. Thomas Avedisian
  • Dept: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Title: Professor
  • Address: 193 Grumman Hall
  • Phone: 607 592-7915
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Dr. Avedisian joined Cornell in 1980 after receiving his doctorate. Prior to that he was employed at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, N.J. in 1974 where he worked on thermal design of electronic systems. Dr. Avedisian has been a Guest Researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Gaithersburg, Md.) since 1988 where he has pursued research on spray combustion and microboiling processes, and he was a Visiting Professor at Brown University in 1994/95. In 2008/2009 Dr. Avedisian was named a Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Washington, DC by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At DOE he has assisted with program review and development for new energy technologies.

Dr. Avedisian has received several recognitions for his research. These include the James Harry Potter Gold Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in 1999 for outstanding contributions in research related to the thermodynamic sciences, and the Heat Transfer Memorial Award by the ASME in 2006 for his significant contributions in the field of heat transfer associated with multiphase processes.

He is a Fellow of the AIAA and the ASME and is on the editorial board of the web-based journal Frontiers in Heat and Mass Transfer. He previously served on the editorial boards of other journals including the AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power, the ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology, the ASME Journal of Heat Transfer, and Atomization and Sprays. On the personal side, Dr. Avedisian has long enjoyed building radio controlled boats and planes.  In 2001 he set a U.S. national record for the longest flight of an electric powered radio controlled unmanned air vehicle flying indoors. Professor Avedisian is also the current faculty advisor to the Cornell Unmanned Air (CUAIR) Systems Team that became World Champion at the 2013 AUVSI Student Unmanned Air Systems Competition and which came in second at the 2014 competition.

Research Interests

We are pursuing research that cuts across a variety of disciplines, including heat transfer and combustion. Problems are pursued from an experimental (as contrasted with a purely computational or theoretical) approach. Recent projects include studies of droplet combustion; micro-scale boiling on impulsively heated thin metal films; and film boiling to promote thermal decomposition.

Teaching Interests

Teaching interests center around heat transfer and related topics.

Selected Publications

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Selected Awards and Honors

  • 75th Anniversary Medal of the Heat Transfer Division (American Society of Mechanical Engineers (IMECE 2013)) 2013
  • Rohsenow Distinguished Lecturer (Massachusetts Institute of Techology) 2012
  • Science Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program) 2008
  • Heat Transfer Memorial Award (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) 2006
  • James Harry Potter Gold Medal (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) 1999



  • BS (summa cum laude) (Mechanical Engineering), Tufts University (Medford, Ma), 1972
  • SM (Mechanical Engineering), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1974
  • MA Princeton University, 1977
  • Ph D (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), Princeton University, 1980