Sunny Ri Li


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 has been serving as the chair of the CSME (The Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering) Heat Transfer Committee. From 2022, he has been serving as one of the Canadian Delegates on Assembly for International Heat Transfer Conferences (AIHTC).


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

  • Thermal management of energy and power systems
  • 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

  • A. Dey, N. Shafiei, R. Li, W. Eberle, R. Khandekar, “Boundary Condition Independent Thermal Network Modelling of High-Frequency Power Transformers,” Heat Transfer Engineering (2022): 1-18, (DOI:10.1080/01457632.2022.2049548).
  • Y. Xia, X. Gao, R. Li, “Surface Effects on Sub-Cooled Pool Boiling for Smooth and Laser-Ablated Silicon Surfaces,” International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 194, 123113 (2022).
  • S.R. Chanduri, M. Zabihi, R. Li, “Enhancement of Geothermal Cooling with Transient Heat Conduction Enabled by Periodic Operation,” Journal of Enhanced Heat Transfer, 29(5):57–76 (2022).
  • 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.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).
  • 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, “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

Assembly for International Heat Transfer Conferences (AIHTC), Canadian Delegate

CSME Advanced Energy Systems Committee, Committee Member

ASTFE Technical Committee on Energy and Sustainability, Committee Member

Canadian Association for Aerosol Research, 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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