Welcome

The Hrenya Research Group investigates a variety of complex fluids, such as gas-solid systems, granular materials, and aerosols.  Our work is fundamental in nature and is applied to a wide range of applications:  improving the efficiency gasifiers used for energy production, developing novel heat transfer methods for concentrating solar power plants, mitigating the ejection of lunar soil upon spacecraft landing, and predicting the agglomeration of cohesive particles found in nature or industry.  We use a combination of theory, computation, and experiments to probe these systems. 


Fall 2014 Hrenya Research Group
Back row (L-R): Peiyuan, Peter, Drew, Bernie, Kyle & Kevin
Front row (L-R): William, Christine, Casey, Ben & Aaron 

 
Recent Group News...
 
 
Ben Grote, an undergraduate researcher working with Dr. Aaron Morris, received a third-place award for the poster he presented in August 2014 at the Rocky Mountain Advanced Computing Consortium (RMACC) High Performance Computing Consortium.  Ben’s research, supported by the U.S. SunShot Initiative,  focuses on modeling a novel heat exchanger that uses solid grains as the heat transfer fluid.  Congratulations, Ben!
 
    
Ph.D. candidate Peter Mitrano was named the 2014 recipient of the Max S. Peters Outstanding Graduate Award by the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.  Congratulations to Peter on this recognition of his outstanding dissertation research!
 
 
  
Dr. Aaron Morris was recently granted 15,000,000 core hours on Titan, one of the world's fastest supercomputers.  This DOE-sponsored award will be used to simulate a novel, muliphase heat transfer system for use in concentrating solar power plants.  This work, being carried out with collaborators at ORNL and NREL, is part of U.S. SunShot Initiative.
 
  
Prof. Christine Hrenya will receive the 2014 AIChE Particle Technology Forum Lectureship Award in Fluidization at the Annual AIChE Meeting this coming November in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A recent publication by Ph.D. candidate Peter Mitrano (Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 738, R2, 2014) was selected as the focus article in a JFM Focus on Fluids piece, authored by Professor Michel Louge of Cornell University.  Peter's work shows that kinetic-theory predictions of clustering instabilties perform well despite a violation of their low-Knudsen-number assumption (see figure), a surprising results which bodes well for the widespread applicability of such models.  This work was also featured by ACS.
 
Prof. Jia Chew, who recently began a tenure-track position as Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), was named the 2013 recipient of the AIChE George Klinzing Best Ph.D. in Particle Technology Award.  Congratulations, Jia, on a well-deserved honor!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prof. Hrenya was appointed as an Editor of Aerosol Science & Technology and received the 2013 Boulder Faculty Assembly Teaching Excellence Award, which is bestowed to four faculty at the University each year.  She is also leading two new research awards:  a $1.5M industry-sponsored grant for multiphase flows involving cohesive particles and a $450K grant under DOE's SunShot Initiative.
 
 
 
Recent graduate Carly Donahue had her Ph.D. research on agglomeration among wetted solids highlighted in the journal Nature.  As part of this work, Carly put a unique spin on a common desktop toy, the Newton’s cradle, by immersing it in liquid before pulling on the pendulum.  The results were not what was expected based on our experience with the toy, but a careful theoretical analysis helped to tease out the important physics.  Carly is now performing post-doctoral research at CalTech.
 
 
 
 

  For additional group photos, see Photo Album of the Hrenya Research Group

For information on upcoming conferences and recent publications, see News Page