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. 


2015 Hrenya Research Group
(L-R): Casey, Peiyuan, William, Haley, Aaron, Kevin, Christine, Aaron #2, Jack, Drew.
Not Pictured: Kyle (at JPL) 

 
Recent Group News...
 
   
 
A new tradition was started in 2015: the Hrenya Group Volunteer Day.  This past April on Arbor Day, the group worked with the great staff at Boulder County Parks and Open Space to plant trees at Boulder County Fairgrounds.  It was a rewarding experience to give back to the community for all of the trails and open space we enjoy year round.
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
Professor Hrenya was selected to Chair the 2016 AIChE Annual Meeting.  This premier annual gathering of >5000 chemical engineers will take place in San Francisco in November.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dr. William Fullmer was invited to present at the 2015 Japan-US Seminar on Two-Phase Flow Dynamics. The conference is sponsored by the NSF and was hosted at Purdue University (William's alma mater). His presentation focused on continuing gas-solid instability research in collaboration with Peter Mitrano (group alumni), Xiaoqi Li and Xiaolong Yin (Colorado School of Mines), and Guodong Liu (Harbin Institute of Technology).
 
 
Dr. Aaron Morris was recently awarded a 2015-2016 grant of 5,000,000 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 was presented witht the the 2014 AIChE Particle Technology Forum (PTF) Lectureship Award in Fluidization and the 2014 PTF Service Award at the Annual AIChE Meeting in Atlanta.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dr. Casey LaMarche was invited to give an oral presentation of her work at the 2014 Gordon Research Conference of Granular and Granular-Fluid Flow (Easton, Ma).  Her talk, entitled "Critical Role of Surface Roughness in Predicting Fluidization of Cohesive Particles," was part of a short series of slots designed to highlight the innovative work of junior scientists.
 
    
Ben Grote, an undergraduate researcher working with Dr. Aaron Morris, received an award for the poster he presented at the 2014 Rocky Mountain Advanced Computing Consortium (RMACC) High Performance Computing Conference.  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!
 
 
 
 
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