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.
Recent Group News...
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
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
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