Venkatarao Ganni

Professor of Accelerator Engineering, Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Director of the MSU Cryogenic Initiative


  • Joined the laboratory in August 2016
  • Accelerator engineering
  • Contact information
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Education and training

  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, Thermal Sciences, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1976
  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Thermal Sciences, Oklahoma State University at Stillwater, 1979


The development of practical and new cryogenic
systems and components needed for the efficient and
reliable operation of superconducting accelerators is my
primary interest. These are complex, energy-intensive
thermodynamic process systems, which require many
well-matched and efficient sub-systems. Their design
requires a multi-disciplinary approach and iterative
optimization process. The components used for these
systems are often adopted from commercial refrigeration,
or other such industries. Consequently, they are often
not well-matched, and there is considerable opportunity
to improve their efficiency and reliability. This requires
a process-system and component-level approach.
Investigation requires thermodynamics, heat transfer,
fluid mechanics, process control, and electrical power.
The equipment involved includes fixed displacement
compressors, turbomachinery, heat exchangers,
adsorption beds, vacuum systems, and various types
of instrumentation. My work has encompassed theory,
research and development, and the implementation of
these on systems used in industry and in government labs.


Four decades of experience in industry and at DOE
accelerator laboratories, as well as building, commissioning,
and operation of helium refrigeration systems for DOE
laboratory particle accelerators, increased my curiosity
for a deeper understanding of the thermodynamic
principles in order to improve their efficiency, reliability,
and operational flexibility. This all began with a curiosity
to understand the theory behind the fundamentals for
improving refrigeration systems efficiency to reduce the
input power, reliability, and operational simplicity.

How students can contribute as part of my research team

Although we develop and investigate the theory governing
what drives the efficient, reliable, and flexible operation
of these systems, our goal is to develop actual hardware
designs and test them on real systems. This is a unique
opportunity available here in the cryogenics department
at FRIB, providing students exposure to not only the
theory and fundamental research, but also the design,
fabrication, and testing of these cryogenic systems.

Scientific publications