Mechanical and Materials EngineeringWestern Engineering

Research

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on problems where the thermal sciences and fluid mechanics strongly interact. I have developed an active research program aimed at improving the understanding and contribute to the scientific knowledge of the relevant key fundamental processes, and to use this knowledge to solve problems of practical interest. 

My research activities are mainly experimental in nature. Our research lab is equipped with state-of-the-art measurement systems that include,

Some specific areas of interest are:

Interfacial Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer

The flow dynamics near or adjacent to fluid-fluid and fluid-solid interfaces play a vital role in regulating heat, mass and/or momentum transfer across the interface. The processes taking place in the interfacial regions are vital for a wide range applications. I am interested in the investigation of interfacial fluid dynamical and thermal processes in both engineering and environmental applications.

Engineering Applications

The heat exchange between a fluid and a solid wall is the fundamental heat transfer process in a wide variety of energy systems. The physical interaction between the heat added from a solid wall and the near-wall flow field is not well established. My specific interests are to investigate the fundamental physical processes that govern the heat transfer across solid-fluid interfaces under different modes of convection and to use this knowledge to improve the performance of energy systems. Our recent results have shown that the thermal-fluid interactions vary significantly from forced to free convection modes. Thus, the applications would cover a wide range from conventional heat exchangers with forced convection to solar collectors with mixed convection.

Environmental Applications

The areas of interests are air-sea interactions and atmospheric flows. The fluid dynamics in the interfacial regions plays a very crucial role in regulating these flows. However, the flow dynamics in the interfacial region is not well understood as a result, the fundamental processes involved in these environmental flows are not well explored. Particularly, with the recent awareness about the global environmental issues, improved fundamental understanding of these flows become very crucial.

Air-Sea Interactions

Air-sea heat and mass exchange has a crucial impact on the earth’s climate balance. The thermal and concentration boundary layers on both sides of the air-water interface control the heat and mass transfer, respectively. The measurements within these boundary layers are very challenging, particularly in the presence of wind when the interface fluctuates due to the generation of waves. My specific interests in this research are to investigate the fundamental physical processes within the boundary layers that govern the heat and mass transfer across the air-water interface in the presence and absence of wind, and to use this knowledge to improve the parameterization of heat and mass transfer models. Some other important issues to be investigated are, shear transfer from air to water, wave generation mechanism and interaction between the airside and waterside vortices.

Atmospheric Flows

The specific interests are to investigate fundamental fluid dynamical processes within the atmospheric boundary layer with the main emphasis on the effects of buoyancy, land topography and urban structures on the flow dynamics.

Alternative Energy Systems

Solar

The research in this area is focused on concentrated solar energy systems and solar collectors for water heating systems. In concentrated solar energy systems, the incident solar radiation is focused into an enclosure through optical devices where the concentrated solar radiation is converted into heat. The main components of a concentrated solar energy system are, (i) solar collector field which consists of an array of mirrors or reflectors that reflects and focuses solar radiation onto the solar receiver, and (ii) solar receiver that transforms solar radiation into heat. The specific interests on concentrated solar energy systems are focused on parabolic dish types of collectors (see figure below).

The work on solar collectors is focused on improving the collector design to increase its efficiency.

Wind

The specific interests in this area are

  • The flow mapping in the near- and far-fields downstream of a wind turbine
  • The interaction of flow fields in a wind farm
  • Wind environment mapping over complex topographic terrains
  • Environmental impact of wind farms

The investigations are focused on the wind-tunnel laboratory experimentation using scaled-models

Sustainable Energy Systems

Thermal Storage

Thermal storage is becoming a necessary component for building sustainability and reliability of solar thermal energy supply, due to significant waste of heat in conventional building energy systems and the intermittent nature of solar thermal energy, respectively.  Thermal storages utilizing phase-change material (PCM) as the storage medium are gaining much attention in recent years due to the advantage of exploiting the enthalpy of phase-transition to store heat. Despite its significance, the main obstacle in the practical advancement of these storage mediums is the poor understanding of the heat exchange across the solid-liquid interface. The problem becomes more challenging due to the continuous, nonlinear movement of the interface during the phase change process by the addition or removal of heat. The complexity further arises due to the geometry of the heat source/sink. Currently, our research focus is on the knowledge advancement of the fundamental heat transfer process during the melting-phase of the PCM and the influence of heat source/sink geometries. 

Research Group

Currrent Students and their projects

Ph.D. Students 

Name  Research Project Title
Kadeem Dennis Characterization of three-dimensional flow structure in boundary layer over a flat plate

Master’s Thesis students 

Name Research Project Title
Kyle Teather Investigation of pore-scale phase change process in PCM-embedded porous media
Steven Jevnikar Investigation of flow behavior in the transient liquid phase of a PCM thermal storage
Kira Toxopeus Investigation of flow behavior in a PCM-embedded flow channel

Graduated students and their projects

Ph.D. Students (Completed)

Name Research Project Title
Muhammad Bashar Experimental Investigation of the Melting Behavior and the Transient Heat Transfer in a Phase Change Material (PCM)
Mona Jobehdar Experimental study of two-phase flow in a liquid cross-flow and an effervescent atomizer
Ahmed Elatar Channel flow behaviour during mixed convection at low Reynolds numbers
Pooyan Hashemi-Tari Near-Wake Flow Dynamics of a Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine
Hadi Babaei Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Thermoacoustic Process
Nasiruddin Sheikh An Experimental Investigation of the Near Surface Flow Structure over Wind-Sheared Water Surface
Hamid Abderrehmane Two Cases of Symmetry Breaking of Free Surface Flows
Majid Nabavi Investigation of nonlinear acoustic standing waves in a rectangular cavity and the development of acoustic pump
Guorong Yan Analysis of fluid slosh behaviour in tank vehicles
Syed Bukhari Investigation of thermal and flow field above and below the air-water interface during natural convection

Master’s Thesis students (Completed)

Name Research Project Title
Julien LoTufo Full-scale and Wind Tunnel Investigation of the Flow Field Over a Coastal Escarpment
Alan Kalbfleisch The Effect Of Mesh-Type Bubble Breakers On Two-Phase Vertical Co-Flow
Ryan Kilpatrick Characterization of mean and turbulent flow overcomplex topography under various inflow and geometric configurations
Abdel Ramadan Parametric study of vertical ground loop heat exchangers for ground source heat pump systems
Benjamin Steen Investigation of thermos-fluid behaviour in a channel submerged in an isothermal fluid
Ayodejo Abiola-Ogedengbe Experimental investigation of wind effects on solar panels
Gurveer Sandhu Experimental Investigation of the fluid temperature field and the thermal performance of insert devices in a flat-plate solar collector
Ghaleb Sater Thermo-fluid investigation of a novel heat recovery system
David Greig An experimental investigation of the flow behaviour in a transpired air collector
Hassan Hassan Development of novel solar tracking and heat extracting technologies
Furqan Khan Simulation of hydrogen production through thermo-chemical water splitting process using concentrated solar energy
Kevin Tom Investigation of Near Wake Flow Structure of a Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine Using Particle Image Velocimetry
Qing Fang Optical Fiber Coupled Low Power Micro-PIV Measurement of Flow in Microchambers: Modeling, Fabrication, Testing and Validation
Mo Wang Investigation of the thermo-fluid behavior of a dish-type concentrated solar energy system
Steven Sookdeo Experimental Investigation of the Thermofluid Behaviour Within a Flat-Plate Solar Collector
Xiaoxia Hu Numerical Analysis of the Near-Surface Flow Beneath  Small-Scale Wind Driven Water Waves
Alireza Hobbi Design of solar water heating system for cold climate and study of heat enhancement devices in flat-plate solar collectors
Shivani Gajusingh Influence of Surface Geometry and Heating on the Flow Structure in Wall-Bounded Flows
 Mandana Jokardris Analysis of Near-Surface Flow Measurements Beneath Clean and Contaminated Wind-Driven Water Surfaces
Masoud Akhavanbazaz Design and Development of A Thermoacoustic Device for Cooling Applications

Post-doctoral Fellows

Name Research Project Title

Francesca Giaccherini (In progress)

Accelerate development of new technologies and applications for advanced water treatment (in collaboration with Trojan Technologies)

Mona Jobehdar (completed)

Accelerate development of new technologies and applications for advanced water treatment (in collaboration with Trojan Technologies)
Aly Hafez Gadallah (Completed) Investigation of bubble dynamics in stagnant and moving liquids
Majid Nabavi (Completed) Investigation of chemical reacting flows in concentrated solar energy systems
Nasiruddin Shaikh (Completed) Simulation of hydrogen reduction reaction for thermo-chemical decomposition of water