Project Overview

Modeling heat transport in insulation measurements

Faculty Sponsor

Beth Parks (


Physics and Astronomy


Heating and cooling of buildings is responsible for 40% of US energy use.  One reason for this high use is that most building and home owners do not know whether their buildings are sufficiently insulated, since there is no commercially available tool that will allow them to measure their insulation.  My lab has been working to devleop a tool, and we have tested it in several different buildings of known insulation.  However, testing is a slow process, and it would be very helpful to have a model of heat conduction through buildings that will allow us to understand how the tool might work in more extreme situations, such as very low R-values of the insulation or very non-uniform insulation due to the presence of higher conductivity studs interspersed with the insulation.  In this project, you will develop a model for heat flow using Matlab and compare it to results we can obtain in the laboratory.

Student Qualifications

Experience with Matlab and familiarity with differential equations is desirable.

Number of Student Researchers

1 student

Project Length

8 weeks

Applications open on 01/03/2020 and close on 03/11/2020

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (