Special Seminar – Krishnaswamy Nandakumar – October 20 2017

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering as part of its Departmental Seminar Series announces the upcoming Special Seminar:

  • Topic: Advanced Multiphase Modelling Framework for Chemical Process Innovation
  • Speaker: Professor Krishnaswamy Nandakuma, Louisiana State University
  • Host: Dr. Anthony Wachs
  • Time & Date: 1:00pm-1:50pm; October 20, 2017
  • Location: Chemical and Biological Engineering Building Room 102



Multiphase flows are ubiquitous in chemical, materials, mineral, energy, environmental and food processing
industries. Our traditional approach has been to ignore fluid dynamical effects by invoking simplifying assumptions
of homogeneity, but pay the price during scale-up of processes through pilot scale experiments. The question that I
address in this presentation is “Can Advanced Multiphase flow modeling come to our rescue in minimizing the need
for pilot scale experiments, On the fundamental side, advanced algorithms for direct numerical simulation (DNS)
and Discrete Particle Modelling (DPM) of multiphase flows aid in detailed understanding but for limited size. For
dispersed rigid particles the Navier-Stokes equations are coupled with the rigid body dynamics in a rigorous fashion
to track the particle motion in a fluid. These classes of algorithms show great promise in attempting to shed light on
multiphase flows with many particles, from which we can extract statistically meaningful average behavior of
On the other hand, there is an immediate need to study flow of complex fluids of industrial importance. Such cases
include the recent oil spill modelling, polymer blending processes involving melting, deformation and break-up,
corrosion-erosion in pipelines and process vessels, hydrotransport, mass transfer in packed beds with random and
structured packings or in Sieve trays. In such studies the volume averaged equations form the basis of flow models
coupled with experimental validation of such predictions in an effort to develop scale invariant closure models that
are needed as part of the volume averaged flow models. We will discuss the merit of this approach and the synergy
between these two approaches. At LSU we have started an EPIC industrial research consortium that integrates
multiphase flow modelling with process diagnostics, intensification studies and optimization and control as applied
to the petroleum, chemical and renewable energy industries. Case studies of industrial relevance will be presented
to illustrate the benefits of such an approach.


Dr. K. Nandakumar is currently Gordon A and Mary Cain Chair Professor at Louisiana State
University. Prior to this he was the GASCO Chair Professor at The Petroleum Institute, Abu
Dhabi. Formerly he was in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada for nearly 25 years. Dr. Nandakumar received his B.
Tech from Madras University in 1973, M. Sc from University of Saskatchewan in 1975 and his
PhD from Princeton University in 1979. He has received the Alexander von Humnboldt
research fellowship from the German government in 1989-90 and the Albright & Wilson
Americas Award from the Canadian Society of Chemical Engineering in 1991 for distinguished
contributions to chemical engineering before reaching the age of 40. Dr. Nandakumar was
elected as Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada in 1991 and a Fellow of the Engineering
Institute of Canada in 2006 and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2007. He has received, from the University of Alberta, the McCalla Professorship (1992), the Killam Annual professorship (2001) for excellence in research and the Rutherford Award (2001) for excellence in teaching. He has also received the Excellence in Education award (2002) from APEGGA, the professional engineering association in Alberta. He was Editor-in-Chief of The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering during 2005-2009. Dr. Nandakumar is also the recipient of the premier award of The Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, called the R.S. Jane Memorial Award in 2008.