Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering, Course # 2.996, Spring 2007

M W 9:30-11:00am, Room 37-312




Instructor: Dereje Agonafer, Visiting MLK Professor, MIT

Winner of the Thermi Award

Phone: metro 617-253-5365


Office & Office Hours: 3-342, MW 11:00- 12:30 pm


To develop the capability to characterize the thermo/mechanical reliability of microelectronics devices using "Commercial Computational Heat Transfer Codes (Icepack, Flotherm and ANSYS).” A number of industry related problems ranging from 1st level packages through system level packages would be analyzed (most based on published data). At the end of the class, a student is expected to formulate and model contemporary problems using commercial CFD codes. There will be frequent renowned industry speakers who will also be assigning contemporary problems. This course was developed by instructor and has been taught as a senior/graduate level class at UTA for the last 8 years, as well has been presented as a short course at numerous conferences internationally. There will be a special project worth 50% and no final. Team based special project is encouraged. Good possibility of publishing the special project as a conference paper.


Textbook: Not Required.


  • Fundamentals of Microsystems Packaging , Author: Rao Tummala, McGraw Hill
  • Numerical Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow , Hemisphere, SV Patankar - New York, 1980.
  • Thermal Management of Microelectronic Equipment: Heat Transfer Theory, Analysis Methods, and Design Practices, 2002 , Authors: Lian-Tuu and Richard C. Chu; Editor-in-Chief, Dereje Agonafer, ASME Press Book Series on Electronic Packaging, New York.

Commercial Codes : Icepak, Flotherm and ANSYS [commercial codes will be installed in classroom for use by students. Licenses have already been acquired].

Course Outline

  • Computer Aided Thermal Engineering
  • Review of Computational Heat Transfer (Patankar)
  • Overview of microelectronics packaging
    • Packaging Roadmap - NEMI
    • Brief Electrical design considerations
    • Feed Through - TO Can, DIP
    • Surface Mount – Plastic Quad Flat Pack, Ball Grid Array
    • Chip Scale Packaging
    • Flip Chip Packaging
    • 3D Packaging
  • Software
    • Icepak Primer, Flotherm Primer, ANSYS Primer
  • First Level Packages
    • Thermal Model of a 32 MM BGA Package using Icepack
    • Thermal Model of IBM’s Thermal Conduction Module
    • Thermal Model of a Typical Flip Chip Package
      • Impact of Thermal Interface Materials, Impact of Non-Uniform Power
      • Multi-core impact
    • Several Problems on 3D Packaging
    • Heat Sinks: Straight Channel, Pinned Fins, Optimization based on pumping power
  • Reliability
    • Effect of weight of Heat Sink on Mechanical Reliability of a Wire Bonded Plastic Ball Grid Array package, Computational Modeling of the Reliability of Stacked Low Density Interconnect Devices
  • Three System Level Problem (IBM Workstation)
    • Thermal Management of a Graphics Card
    • Thermal Management of a Chassis
    • Thermal management Challenges in Data Centers


Guest Speakers [they will also assign problems]:

  1. Dr. Gamal Refai-Ahmed, AMD Fellow, AMD, “Thermal Management of Graphics Processors”
  2. Mark Hendrix, Manager, CommScope, “Thermal Challenges in Telecommunications Equipment”
  3. Dr. Ravi Mahajan, principal engineer, Intel, “Thermal Challenges for high-density interconnect packages for Intel microprocessors and chipsets”
  4. Dr. Roger Schmidt, Distinguished Engineer, NAE, ASME Fellow, IBM, “Thermal Challenges for high End Systems”
  5. Christian Belady, principal scientist for HP's High Performance Systems, ASME Fellow, HP, “Thermal Management of Data Centers”
  6. Shlomo Novotny, VP and CTO, ASME Fellow, Vette Corp, “Practical Implementation of Thermal Management of Electronic Systems”
  7. Dr. Mulugeta Berhe, Intel, “Ergonomic Temperature Limits for Handheld Electronic Devices”
  8. Dr. Chia-pin Chau, Intel, “Thermal Management for Advanced Microprocessors”
  9. Dr. Dave Copeland, Sun Microsystems, “Non-uniform and Temperature Dependent Power in Microprocessors”
  10. Dr. Terry Dishongh, Principal Engineer, Intel Digital Health Group, “Applications of Wireless Network Sensors to an Aging Population”

Examinations and Grade:

  • Assignments: 15%
  • Quiz: 15%
  • Mid Term: 20%
  • Special Project: 50%
  • No Final