Akhil Mathews

Mixed discrete–continuum modelling of dense granular flow

Host Institutions

University of Edinburgh [ 36 months ]

Closing Date:

Monday 15, March 2021


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Dense granular flows contain zones of significant shear deformation alongside large volumes of material that are either stagnant or exhibit mass flow. While the former greatly benefit from a detailed discrete model, a continuum approach works very well for the latter and is faster by orders of magnitude. The overall objective is to develop an upscaling framework that will allow conversion of part of the problem domain from discrete to continuum (D2C) and back to discrete (C2D) as dictated by the needs of the unit-operation or process.

Specific objectives are:
  1. Investigate appropriate D2C and C2D transformations for dense granular flows with co-existence of regimes;
  2. Develop criteria for applying each transformation based on specific mechanical situations (e.g., low vs. high pressure) of the flow;
  3. Identify appropriate generation of boundary geometries and boundary conditions during upscaling;
  4. Implement the above techniques in a numerical code able to solve industrial dense granular flow problems for its validation.
Expected Results:
  1. Critical review and assessment of D2C and C2D algorithms;
  2. New theoretical framework for mixed discrete–continuum simulations of dense granular flows;
  3. Working prototype of numerical code implemented with mixed discrete–continuum modelling;
  4. Verification of software prototype and validation using the pneumatic conveying pilot plant at NTE Process.
Essential Criteria:
  • An undergraduate degree in Chemical, Civil or Mechanical Engineering, Physics or a related discipline.
  • An Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or international equivalent) is required, possibly supported by an MSc Degree.
  • Meeting the School of Engineering PhD requirements, (see “Entry Requirements” at https://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/degrees/index.php?r=site/view&id=947), including English language requirements.

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Application is now closed.