Dr Yutaku Kita | King's College London

Thermofluid Physics

  • Hydrothermal Waves

    When observing an evaporating drop of organic fluids such as ethanol using an IR camera, it shows self-driven hydrothermal waves (HTWs) travelling radially. The HTWs are driven by surface tension directed by temperature gradients due to the evaporation (Marangoni effect).

  • Walking Drops

    Microfabrication enables tuning of surface wettability. A water drop on a wettability contrast moves toward the more hydrophilic region.
    Manipulation of drops has potential applications in the area of microfluidics.

  • Spray Cooling

    Despite the exceptional cooling capacity, some mystery still remains around spray cooling e.g. the transition of boiling regimes. Fundamental understanding of hydrodynammics and heat transfer of impacting droplets will aid in the optimisation of metal quenching, emergency core cooling and electronics thermal management etc.

  • Condensation

    Sustaining dropwise condensation is an engineers' dream as it is one of the most effcient heat transfer mechanisms. We investigate the transient nature of heat transfer through droplet nucleation, growth, marge and depature to design more efficient energy systems.


Our Mission

Examples of research topics on droplets and applications

Welcome to the Thermofluid Physics Group, led by Dr Yutaku Kita in the Department of Engineering at King's College London. We are a new research group launched in January 2023.

We study fundamental problems in thermofluids coupling multiphase flows, interfacial phenomena, wetting and phase change heat trasnfer, primarily for systems involving droplets and bubbles. To better understand these problems, we develop and apply experimental techniques to capture new phenomena at various time and spatial scales. We also utilise theory and simulations to rationalise our experimental findings. Our research is driven by a desire to develop more efficient energy systems, manufacturing, thermal management of electronics and biochemical processes.

We collaborate both nationally and internationally with academic institutions and industry. For example, we are a partner of the cross-continental EU MSCA-RISE ThermaSMART Project.


Yutaku Kita

Dr Yutaku Kita

Group Leader

Lecturer in Engineering

Department of Engineering

Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences

King's College London

Yutaku Kita

Daniel Gibbons

PhD Student since June 2024

Spray Cooling

Join us!

We support ambitious PhD candidates and postdocs

Thermofluid Physics Group is based in the Department of Engineering at KCL — an internationally renowned university delivering exceptional education and world-leading research. Join us in a vibrant area of central London with world-wide links full of unique opportunities that boost your personal and professional development. Also see Why King's?

PhD opportunities

  • PhD Studentship: Currently, we have no vacancy.
  • Faculty PhD Studentship: TBA
  • K-CSC Programme: Studentship for Chinese students jointly funded by KCL and the China Scholarship Council (CSC). See here.

Postdoc opportunities

  • Opening position: Currently, we have no vacancy.

UG & MEng

  • King's UG Research Fellowship (KURF): TBA

In addition, we always welcome prospective students and researchers to discuss potential projects. Please contact us.


Contact PI

Dr Yutaku Kita

Email: yutaku.kita@kcl.ac.uk

King's College London

Strand Building, Room S2.23

Strand, London WC2R 2LS, UK

From Heathrow Airport

By Underground ~1 hour

Picadilly line to Holborn + 12 min walk