My PhD focused on numerical modelling of fluid-solid interaction in non-convex granular media. The work was based on the extension of a massively parallel multiphase (fluid/solid) flow tool to handle particles of complex shape to tackle problems relevant to the downstream oil and gas sector. Very often, the weakness relies on the modelling of the collision behaviour either to create packings for flow through assemblies of particles (fixed bed) or to compute particle/particle collisions for freely-moving particles in a fluidised bed. For this endeavour, I used a coupled Discrete Element Method (for the granular flow solver which) and Direct Numerical Simulation (to solve the Navier-Stokes equations) approach. This DEM-PRS approach brought an insight of how the particle shape impacts the packing micro-structure of a packed bed, the pressure drop, and even the conversion rate in this type of system.
Currently, I’m conducting my research both in Civil Engineering and Mathematics Departments of UBC. In Civil Engineering, I’m using the DEM-PRS framework to investigate the soil response to earthquake and in Mathematics, I’m continuing my research in numerical modelling of large scale granular and suspension flows.