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Dr. Seth Dworkin

Seth Dworkin
Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in High Performance Computing and Sustainable Energy
BEng, MSc, MPhil, PhD, PEng, FCSME

Areas of Academic Interest

Combustion and emissions

Geothermal heating and cooling

Sustainable energy


Year University Degree
2009 Yale University PhD
2005 Yale University MPhil
2004 Yale University MSc
2003 McMaster University BEng

Selected Courses

Course Code Course
ME8112/AE8112 Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer
MEC 817/ME8151 Combustion Engineering
MEC 810 Thermal Power Generation


Seth Dworkin is a big-picture, big-problems person. His approach to research is to focus on the issues most important to society. In his view, that means addressing climate change in two ways: developing sustainable alternatives to combustion and mitigating climate change. 

One of Dworkin’s climate solutions is geo-exchange, which involves pumping heat out of a building and into the ground in the summer and then pumping it back up in the winter. It’s a clean, efficient way of moving heat around rather than generating it. His work on emissions focuses on reducing the soot created by industrial processes. “Soot is what makes your toast taste good,” he says, “but it is bad to breathe in, absorbs sunlight and contributes to global warming.”

In both cases, Dworkin uses computer modelling complimented by experiment to inform energy solutions. “Early on, I was intrigued by the elegance of having computers do the heavy lifting so I don’t have to. You can get a wealth of information out of a simulation that has been validated by an experiment.”

Seth Dworkin

“I advise my students to work on the really big stuff. I ask them, ‘Is the problem you’re trying to solve important for the global community?’”

  • McMaster University Alumni Association Arch Award (2017)
  • Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO), Engineering Medal – Young Engineer (2015)
  • Ryerson University Early Research Career Excellence Award (2014)
  • Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering I.W. Smith Award (2013)
  • Mwesigye, A., and Dworkin, S.B. “Performance Analysis and Optimization of an Ejector Refrigeration System Using Alternative Working Fluids Under Critical and Subcritical Operation Modes.” Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 176, 2018, pp. 209-226.
  • Fine, J.P., Nguyen, H.V., Friedman, J., Leong, W.H., and Dworkin, S.B. “A Simplified Ground Thermal Response Model for Analyzing Solar-Assisted Ground Source Heat Pump Systems.” Energy Conversion and Management, vol. 165, 2018, pp. 276-290.
  • Veshkini, A., and Dworkin, S.B. “A Computational Study of Soot Formation and Flame Structure of Coflow Laminar Methane/air Diffusion Flames Under Microgravity and Normal Gravity.” Combustion Theory and Modelling, vol. 21, 2017, pp. 864-878.
  • Fine, J.P., Friedman, J., and Dworkin, S.B. “Detailed Modeling of a Novel Photovoltaic Thermal Cascade Heat Pump Domestic Water Heating System.” Renewable Energy, vol. 101, 2017, pp. 500-513.
  • Eaves, N.A., Dworkin, S.B., and Thomson, M.J. “CoFlame: A Refined and Validated Numerical Algorithm for Modeling Sooting Laminar Diffusion Flames.” Computer Physics Communications, vol. 207, 2016, pp. 464-477.
  • Member, The Combustion Institute
  • Member, Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineers (CSME)
  • Member, Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO)