Spotlight: Highly Cited Researcher Somchai Wongwises

Ranking in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in Web of Science, Highly Cited Researchers are leading the way in solving the world’s biggest challenges. But what makes them tick?

Clarivate Analytics puts the spotlight on research in engineering with Professor Somchai Wongwises, Department of Mechanical Engineering, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand. Professor Somchai’s research focuses on heat transfer enhancement. In this interview, he shares his thoughts on being named a Highly Cited Researcher in 2019.


 

Could you tell us more about your research?

My research focuses on heat transfer enhancement, or what we may call heat transfer augmentation or heat transfer intensification. Heat transfer enhancement refers to the application of basic concepts of heat transfer processes and fluid mechanics to increase the rate of heat transfer through a surface or system. Basically, heat transfer enhancement techniques are used to reduce thermal resistance either by increasing the heat transfer area or by creating turbulence of fluid flow.

The techniques that are used in my study can be classified as active and passive techniques. Active techniques require external power input for the process, but for passive techniques do not need any external power.

 

“I am very glad that, the research output conducted by a group of people from a small laboratory has been usefully applied for further research globally by many researchers. It reflects the academic strength of my university and my country and makes them more famous. Receiving this honor is a huge encouragement to keep me moving forward purposefully in research and development”

Professor Somchai Wongwises

 

How did you decide to select this field of research?

As we know, energy is very important to our lives and that of all living organisms in the world. It seems to be the cause of all things going on around us. However, in order to transfer thermal energy from one medium to another, we need to use thermal equipment called a heat exchanger. In the world of energy, a heat exchanger is of critical importance. A high efficiency heat exchanger leads to more energy savings and carbon dioxide emissions reduction.Heat transfer enhancement techniques can be widely used in the heating and cooling processes of many industrial and domestic applications. Usually, the main aim is to enhance performance and reduce the weight and size of heat exchangers. As a result, heat transfer enhancement in heat exchangers is very attractive but challenging for research and industry. That’s the reason I have chosen to work in this area.

 

What would you say is the impact of your research on society, especially on the Thailand 4.0 objectives?

The Thailand 4.0 development plan is an economic development model that aims to relieve my country from several economic challenges that resulted from past economic models. This development plan is focused on 10 targeted industries, including next generation automotive, smart electronics, biofuels, bio chemicals, robotics, food, logistics, digital and so on. But, if we go into details, we see that energy issues will be involved in all industries. So, in answer to your question, I think I alone don’t have that much impact on the society and economy of the country. However, because I have strong cooperation with targeted industries, my research outcomes could more or less be part of the solution, especially in terms of refrigeration, air-conditioning and thermal system design. In addition, I could help to educate the workforce to enter these industries and serve our country.

 

Did you know that you are one of the most read and cited authors on the planet?

I have been informed that several of my papers have become Highly Cited Papers. I was also awarded the Thailand Frontier Author Award from the Web of Science Group (then part of Thomson Reuters) in 2015 and became one of the Highly Cited Researchers in 2017, 2018 and 2019. But I didn’t know that I was one of the most read and cited authors on the planet.

 

What impact do you think being a Highly Cited Researcher will have on your future work and career?

Usually, I spend most of my time in teaching and research in my university. As a Highly Cited Researcher, I think my work will be known to researchers outside Thailand. I am very glad that the research output conducted by a group of people from a small laboratory has been usefully applied for further research globally by many researchers. It reflects the academic strength of my university and my country and makes them more famous. Receiving this honour is a huge encouragement to keep me moving forward purposefully in research and development. I can say that being included in the Highly Cited Researchers list surely affects my future work and professional career.

 

Click here to download the full interview

 

Learn more about Professor Somchai Wongwises’s research.

 

To see the full list of Highly Cited Researchers and read more about the selection methodology and other details, please visit https://hcr.clarivate.com