Jennifer Sinclair Curtis
Ph.D., 1989, Princeton University
Research Description: Professor Curtis has an internationally recognized research program in the development and validation of numerical models for the prediction of fluid-particle flow phenomena. Particle flow processes pervade the energy, pharmaceutical, aerospace, chemical, bioengineering, mining, agricultural, food processing and petroleum industries. Professor Curtis’ research group employs a multi-scale approach, using the Discrete Element Method (DEM) to simulate the details of the motion of individual particles to give insight into improved continuum-based particle flow models. Her team also has a complimentary experimental research program involving non-intrusive flow measurements using laser Doppler velocimetry and flow visualization.
PIRE Project Description: Our PIRE project is in collaboration with Professor Matsusaka of Kyoto University. The experimental facilities in Professor Matsusaka’s laboratory greatly aid our modelling efforts towards describing the flow and charging behaviour of particulate mixtures conveyed by a gas. In gas–solids pipe flow, particles are electrostatically charged (primarily) as a result of repeated impacts on the inner walls. Micrometer-sized particles are dispersed through an ejector and continuously transported in dilute phase through a pipe. The pipes are of various inner diameters, with a pre-charging pipe and detection pipe installed in the pneumatic transport system. We measure the total charge, the transferred charge, and the average velocity and particle concentration of the flowing cloud.