The faculty in the Thermofluids Research Group consists of professors who use modelling, numerical simulations, experiments, design and development for industrial and biomedical applications. Key application areas include complex flows and complex fluids, aerodynamics, microfluidics, combustion, clean energy, particle systems and energy conservation, acoustics, naval architecture and pulp and paper.
The faculty group is made up of Nima Atabaki, Kendal Bushe, Gwynn Elfring, Ian Frigaard, Dana Grecov, Sheldon Green, Patrick Kirchen, Christopher McKesson, Walter Mérida, Jon Mikkelsen, Carl Ollivier-Gooch, James Olson, Peter Ostafichuk, Steven Rogak, Martha Salcudean, and Boris Stoeber. A few of the projects currently underway are outlined below.
Dr. Nima Atabaki — Heat and Mass Transfer
Current Projects: Loop heat pipes, two-phase fluid flow and heat transfer, effective thermal conductivity of fluid saturated sintered powder metal plates, and HVAC systems.
Dr. Kendal Bushe — Turbulent Combustion
Current Projects: Numerical simulation of turbulent combustion in internal combustion engines and gas turbines, model development for turbulence/chemistry interactions, chemical kinetic mechanism development, and renewable fuels for heavy-duty transportation and stationary power applications.
Dr. Gwynn Elfring — Mathematical Modeling
Current Projects: Ongoing research into the mechanics of soft matter, including cell biomechanics, mechanics of active suspensions, interfacial rheology and instabilities, and non-Newtonian flow physics.
Dr. Ian Frigaard — Fluid Mechanics
Current Projects: Studies are pursued continuously, using a mix of experimental, computational and mathematical tools. The subject areas range across industrial processes, typically involving non-Newtonian and/or multiphase fluids. Areas of specialization include viscoplastic (yield stress) fluids and flows connected with the cementing of oil and gas wells.
Dr. Dana Grecov—Fluid Mechanics
Current Projects: Computational and experimental methods to analyze complex fluid flow in journal bearings, design of new lubricants and biolubricants, rheostructural and hydrodynamic study of synovial fluid, numerical simulation of industrial flows, Non-Newtonian fluid flows occurring in processing and primary industries.
Dr. Sheldon I. Green — Fluid Mechanics
Current Projects: Developing a model of the fibre deposition and dewatering process in paper making, spraying of non-Newtonian fluids, minimizing electrical power consumption in paper mills by improving pulp pump efficiency, and measuring and reducing snow friction of skis (in conjunction with the Canadian Olympic Committee).
Dr. Patrick Kirchen — Combustion
Current projects: Thermal energy conversion, combustion, internal combustion engines, ion transport membranes.
Dr. Christopher McKesson — Naval Architecture
Current Projects: A long-standing interest in high-speed ships and unconventional hull forms has now evolved into the study of unconventional missions and features, such as the design of ships for minimum environmental impact, or maximum human effectiveness, or other concerns currently under-represented at the design table.
Dr. Walter Mérida — Clean Energy Systems
Current Projects: Energy systems (climate disruption), fuel cell technology (durability and reliability), and hydrogen infrastructures (refueling stations for fuel cell vehicles).
Pr. Jon Mikkelsen — Naval Architecture
Current Projects: Developing a vertical axis tidal turbine for power generation, and collaborating with First Nations to develop live capture fishing technologies.
Dr. Carl F. Ollivier-Gooch — Aerodynamics
Current Projects: Developing high-order accurate methods for compressible, turbulent flows, with applications in aerodynamics, aerodynamic optimization, and unstructured mesh generation from CAD data.
Dr. James Olson — Pulp and Paper
Current Projects: Reducing electrical energy consumption in pulping, developing a mathematical model of fibre
orientation and concentration in turbulent flow, and design of a high performance, low energy pulp screen rotor.
Dr. Peter Ostafichuk — Aerodynamics
Current projects: Aerodynamics of sport, general aerodynamics, hydrodynamics.
Dr. Steven Rogak — Particle Systems and Energy Conservation
Current Projects: Development of simple, low-emissions fuel injectors for heavy-duty engines, determining the optimal balance between thermal comfort and energy consumption in buildings.
Dr. Martha Salcudean — Fluid Modelling
Current Projects: Martha Salcudean’s research group is working on the mathematical modeling of multi-phase flows. The current emphasis in on simulation of flow and associated mass and heat transfer in fluidized beds, used extensively in chemical, pharmaceutical and other industries. Gas-solid –liquid flows, which occuroften in fluidized beds are modeled by solving the governing differential equations with numerical methods, using Eulerian-Eulerian, and Discrete Particle Methods. Nozzle performance is investigated and optimized by simulating the gas-liquid flow, in the gas assisted atomization nozzle and its interaction with the fluidized bed. Agglomerate formation often occurs in fluidized beds with liquid injection. That can be desirable in some processes, as for instance in pharmaceutical processes ,or highly undesirable, as for instance in the bitumen coking reactor. The research team is working on improving the understanding of the agglomerate formation, by modeling their growth and breakage in the presence of capillary and viscous forces, using population balance and Discrete Particle Methods.
Dr. Boris Stoeber — MEMS and Microfluids
Current Projects: Flow control in microfluidic devices, complex microflows, microflow characterization methods, micro-optical devices, biomedical microdevices, and sensor technology.