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This paper provides a review of some of the issues currently facing thermal designers of high power electronics. With the current market resistance to widely embrace advanced methods such as liquid cooling, air cooling will continue to be a popular choice (K. Azar, 8th THERMINIC workshop, 2002). As heat loads increase and system sizes reduce, further innovation and optimisation of system level air cooling design will need to continue. Selected case studies are presented to illustrate the range of design tools currently available and to highlight the need for an integrated approach to meet future cooling demands.