Cum laude for computational simulations of multiphase flows

October 29, 2019

Harshil Patel from India gained his PhD yesterday cum laude for his research in which he developed novel computational models to study multiphase flows in porous media. He carried out his research in the Chemical Engineering and Chemistry department, supervised by Hans Kuipers and Frank Peters.

Harshil Patel. Photographer: Vincent van den Hoogen

The main goal of this research was to develop methods to study computationally complex multiphase flows in porous media. Such flows are frequently encountered in many branches of the process industries and in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) in particular and entail very rich and complicated physics and concurrent challenges for multi-scale mathematical modelling based on first principles. Although the focus in this research has been mainly on EOR, where typically water is used to displace oil from rock (water flooding), the computational methods can be applied to a much wider range of problems ranging from inkjet printing to multiphase flow in Trickle Bed Reactors (TBR) used for the production of synthetic fuels.

The project ‘Direct numerical simulations of multiphase flow through porous media’ has been completed within the context of a project embedded in the Computational Sciences for Energy Research (CSER) initiative funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and Shell B.V.

Impressive work and fruitful collaborations
Harshil Patel has completed very impressive work on detailed modelling of complex multiphase flows in porous media using cutting-edge computational methods which he has devised and carefully validated against accepted (analytical and computational) results reported in literature. In addition he was the initiator of a lot of collaborative research efforts which has led to several very impressive papers prepared with his fellow PhD students. This achievement is truly exceptional. He has worked in a highly independent manner and has generated a lot of the ideas behind the work reported in his thesis.

Harshil Patel (1991, Mehsana) completed the Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering cum laude at SVNIT Surat (India), after which he graduated from ITT Bombay in 2015 for the Master's in Thermal and Fluids Engineering and was awarded the Institute Silver Medal for this. He then started his PhD research in the Multiphase Reactors research group at Eindhoven University of Technology.

Five percent
PhD awards with the honor of ‘cum laude’ are relatively rare, and around five percent of all theses receive this distinction. To be eligible, the research carried out must be of exceptional quality, and the PhD candidate must have worked with an exceptional level of independence.