Sunny Ri Li (李日)

Associate Professor

Applied Science, Mechanical, School of Engineering
Office: EME3235
Phone: 250.807.9578

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Enhanced Heat Transfer; Multiphase Flows; Aerosol (Airborne) Transmission; Electronics Cooling; Thermal-fluidics in Sustainable Energy Systems

Courses & Teaching

Heat and Mass Transfer; Fluid Mechanics; Multiphase Flows; Measurement Principles in Thermal-Fluids


Dr. Li’s research focuses on fundamentals and applied technologies in the field of thermal and fluid sciences.

Dr. Li received four years training on fluid transmission and control technologies at Beijing Institute of Technology. Dr. Li completed his MASc and PhD degrees In the MUSSL lab at The University of Toronto, where he spent two years researching spray and atomization, and another four years  studying inkjet printing and drop-surface interactions. His PhD research was sponsored by Xerox, which was related to solid-ink printing technologies. Prior to joining the School of Engineering at The University of British Columbia, Dr. Li was a research scientist at GE Global Research Center, NY, USA, where his research centered on thermofluidics and inter-facial sciences in thermal management and cooling technologies. From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Li was a registered Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers Ontario, and currently he is a registered Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C.. From 2021, he serves as the chair of the CSME (The Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering) Heat Transfer Committee.


Thermal Management & Multi-phase Flows Lab (TMMFL)

Natural Gas Fuel System Laboratory (NGFSL) 

Airborne Disease Transmission Research Cluster (ADTRC)


PhD - Mechanical Engineering (University of Toronto)
MASc - Mechanical Engineering (University of Toronto)

Research Interests & Projects

  • Enhanced heat transfer in liquid/air cooling
  • Thermal/fluid sciences in sustainable energy systems
  • Thermofluidics in micro devices and systems
  • Aerosol (Airborne) disease transmission
  • Multiphase flows
  • Droplet/bubble dynamics
  • Instabilities of free-surface/interfacial flows
  • Interfacial phenomena of nano & micro surfaces

Selected Publications & Presentations

  • B. Mohajer, A. Dey, R. Li,” Stagnation Line due to Colliding Wall Jets of Two Liquid Impinging Jets on a Horizontal Surface,” Physics of Fluids 33, 047112 (2021).
  • X. Gao, Y. Xia, R. Li, “Transient boiling of a droplet stream quenching microstructured surfaces,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 164, 120580 (2021).
  • Y. Xia, X. Gao, R. Li, “Management of surface cooling non-uniformity in spray cooling,” Applied Thermal Engineering 180,115819 (2020).
  • G. Xuan, R. Li, “Experimental and analytical study of transient convection at film flow-wall interface using infrared thermography,” International Journal of Thermal Sciences 145, 106023 (2019).
  • Y.D. Cao, G. Xuan, R. Li, “A liquid plug moving in an annular pipe – Heat transfer analysis,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 139, 1065–1076 (2019).
  •  Y.D. Cao, R. Li, “A liquid plug moving in an annular pipe—Flow analysis,” Physics of Fluids 30, 093605 (2018). (Editor’s pick)
  • X. Gao, R. Li, “Impact of a drop burst flow on a film flow cooling a hot surface,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 126, 1193–1205 (2018).
  • X. Gao, L. Kong, R. Li, J. Han, ” Heat transfer of single drop impact on a film flow cooling a hot surface,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 108, 1068-1077 (2017).
  • L. Kong, X. Gao, R. Li, J. Han, “Bubbles in curved tube flows – an experimental study,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 105, 180–188 (2017).
  • N. Moallemi, R. Li, K. Mehravaran, “Breakup of capillary jets with different disturbances,” Physics of Fluids 28, 012101 (2016).
  • B. Mohajer, R. Li, “Circular hydraulic jump on finite surfaces with capillary limit,” Physics of Fluids 27, 117102 (2015).
  • X, Gao, R. Li, “Impact of a single drop on a flowing liquid film,” Physical Review E 92, 053005 (2015).
  • R. Li, Y. Shan, “Contact Angle and Local Wetting at Contact Line,” Langmuir 28, 15624−15628 (2012).
  • A. Alizadeh, M. Yamada, R. Li, W. Shang et al., “Dynamics of Ice Nucleation on Water Repellent Surfaces,” Langmuir 28, 3180-3186 (2012).
  • R. Li, A. Alizadeh, W. Shang, “Adhesion of Liquid Droplets to Rough Surfaces,” Physical Review E 82, 041608, (2010).
  • R. Li, N. Ashgriz, S. Chandra, J. R. Andrews, S. Drappel “Coalescence of Two Droplets Impacting a solid surface,” Experiments in Fluids 48(6), 1025-1035, (2010).
  • R. Li, N. Ashgriz, S. Chandra, “Droplet Generation from Pulsed Micro-jets,” Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 32, 1679-1686 (2008).
  • R. Li, N. Ashgriz, “Characteristics of Liquid Sheets Formed by two Impinging Jets,” Physics of Fluids 18, 087104, (2006).

Book Chapters 

  • R. Li, “Bioinspired icephobicity,” in: T. Deng (ed.) Bioinspired Engineering of Thermal Materials, (225-239), 2018 © John Wiley & Sons (

Professional Services/Affiliations/Committees

CSME Heat Transfer Committee, Chair

CSME Advanced Energy Systems Committee, Committee Member

Canadian Association of Aerosol Scientists, Committee Member

Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310), Topic Board Member

Energy Storage and Saving (ISSN: 2772-6835), Editorial Board Member

Transactions of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering, Associate Editor


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