Education

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1979
  • M.S., Stanford University, 1976
  • B.S., Marquette University, 1974

Research Areas

Background

Dr. Wepfer began at Tech in 1980 as an Assistant Professor.

Research

Beth Douglas (B.S. Tennessee technological University, M.S. Georgia Tech) studying fuel cell technology combined with gas turbine systems.

Dr. Wepfer's research interests are in thermal systems, heat transfer, and thermodynamics. A current research project is in textile drying and processing. Textile manufacture is a significant industry in the State of Georgia. Many of the newer textile products are composite materials that undergo a series of chemical and thermal processes during their manufacture. Many of these products are dyed with an array of colorful patterns and images. The dyes are typically set by steaming the textile products. At this point the materials must be dried. His research investigates various techniques and methods for efficient drying of textile composites. Drying is generally a very slow process, and the industry is seeking newer methods that will insure product quality and provide for faster fabrication and manufacture. Milliken and Company has supported some of this activity in recent years.

Another research area centers on solid oxide fuel cell systems, which is a high efficiency device for the conversion of chemical to electrical energy. Recent advances in materials and manufacturing have propelled the development of combined cycle systems having a solid oxide fuel cell system as a topping cycle and a combustion turbine as a bottoming cycle. Prototype units have demonstrated efficiencies on the order of 65 to 70 percent. Such technology is well suited for the power generation market which through deregulation is moving toward smaller-scale decentralized power generation systems. This research focuses on the analysis of various fuel cell systems and configurations and their operation in the market place.

Distinctions

  • American Society for Engineering Education
    • Minorities in Engineering Award, 1995
    • DELOS/Fluke Award, 1988
    • AT & T Foundation (Southeastern Section) Award, 1988
    • DOW Outstanding Faculty Award, 1986
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers
    • Atlanta Section Engineer of the Year in Education, 2001
    • Fellow, 1996
    • E. K. Campbell Award, 1989
  • Engineering Accreditation Council Member, 2004
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
    • Fellow, 1998
    • Journal of Energy Resources Technology  Associate Editor, 1995-2000
    • Atlanta Section Engineer of the Year in Education, 1986
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
    • Graduate Student Government Administrator of the Year Award, 2000-2001
    • Outstanding Continuing Education Award, 1998
    • Graduate Student Senate Faculty Member of the Year, 1997-1998
    • Outstanding Service Award, 1993
    • Outstanding Teacher Award, 1988
  • Metro Atlanta E-Week
    • Engineer of the Year in Education, 1992
    • Young Engineer of the Year, 1987
  • Pennsylvania State University (Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Department) Industrial and Professional Advisory Committee, 2003
  • National Society of Women Engineers Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award, 1998
  • Society of Automotive Engineers Ralph R. Teetor Award, 1985

Representative Publications

  • B. W. Wepfer and C. L. Haynes. 2002. Enhancing the Performance Evaluation and Process Design of a Commercial Grade Solid Oxide Fuel Cell via Energy Concepts. ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology.
  • W. W. Carr, H. S. Lee, and B. W. Wepfer. 2000. Factors Influencing the Air Flow through Unbacked Tufted Carpet. Textile Research Journal 70(10), 876-885.
  • B. W. Wepfer and C. L. Haynes. 2000. Design for Power in a Commercial Grade Tubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cell. Energy Conversion and Management 41,1123-1139. Erratum 41, 2063-2067.
  • B. W. Wepfer. 2000. Characterizing Heat Transfer within a Commercial Grade Tubular SOFC for Enhanced Thermal Management. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 26(4), 369-379.
  • B. W. Wepfer and M. W. Ellis. 1999. Effects of Adsorbent Conductivity and Permeability on the Performance of a Solid Sorption Heat Pump. ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology 119.