Invertible Design Manifolds for Heat Transfer Surfaces (INVERT)

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College Park, Maryland
Project Term:
05/20/2020 - 11/20/2022

Technology Description:

The University of Maryland (UMD) will create inverse design tools for the development of enhanced heat transfer surfaces at reduced computational cost. Heat transfer surfaces are used to increase the efficiency of many energy conversion systems, but they are currently designed in a slow, iterative fashion. UMD will use a direct inverse design method map from given environments and performance metrics to design variables or materials. The project will make use of generative adversarial networks, statistical connections between optimization and dynamical systems, and active learning to achieve its goals. The team will test its tools on turbine blade components and heat exchangers.

Potential Impact:

DIFFERENTIATE aims to enhance the productivity of energy engineers in helping them to develop next-generation energy technologies. If successful, DIFFERENTIATE will yield the following benefits in ARPA-E mission areas:


Seek U.S. technological competitive advantage by leading the development of machine-learning enhanced engineering design tools.


Use these tools to solve our most challenging energy and environmental problems by facilitating an economically-attractive transition to lower carbon-footprint energy sources and systems


Reap the economic productivity benefits associated with the commercial adoption of the resulting higher-value energy technologies and associated products.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. David Tew
Project Contact:
Dr. Mark Fuge
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


United Technologies Research Center

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