Enhanced Oil Recovery by Analysis and Control of Vortex Flow in Porous Media: A widely applied method for enhancing oil recovery is the injection of a secondary flow e.g. water, steam, or carbon dioxide underground to drive more oil to a production well. Various studies estimate that up to 2/3 of the underground oil remains in the reservoir at the end of the extraction process with existing technologies. Improved flooding methods are therefore in great demand and can have a large impact.  This research aims to develop a detailed analysis of vortex flow (pumping flow) in porous media (underground layers), leading to a new understanding of flow patterns underground that will help to optimize the location of wells and select the appropriate controllable parameters to enhanced oil recovery.

Experimental Analysis of Vortex Flow in Porous Media: The static properties of porous media have been studied intensively for many decades, but the understanding of dynamic interactions of fluids with porous media remains an important area of investigation that can yield critical and much-needed improvements to applications in health care, environment, etc. This activity involves a carefully conceived experimental apparatus that facilitates precise and repeatable experiments involving (dynamic) vortex flows and porous media. We have constructed a high-precision vortex generator that can be controlled by a computer, whose software is also developed      in-house. This apparatus allows the generation of a variety        of velocity profiles for the fluid to an unprecedented level of precision. The optical refractive index of the porous medium is matched to the fluid, thus making it transparent and allowing observation and measurement of the flow by PLIF method.

Evacuated Solar Tubes Integrated with Phase Change Materials and Carbon NanoTube Sheets - Collaborative work with Dr. Anvar Zakhidov: Solar water heaters with evacuated tube collectors are a well-established renewable energy technology that has been widely adopted around the world. In this project we have significantly improved the evacuated solar tube collectors  by utilizing the “dry-drawable” carbon nanotube (CNT) sheets coatings for increasing solar energy absorption and paraffin phase change materials (PCMs) directly applied in the tubes for increasing the heat accumulation (storage). 

Bio-Inspired Segmented Flow Collaborative work with Dr. Wonjae Choi: Remarkable efficiency of biological systems has been the inspiration for many innovations in engineering. Our novel micro channel-based heat exchanger is inspired from the blood particulate flow and the remarkable efficiency of the gas exchange process that occurs between the alveolar region of the lung and the blood cells moving through the capillaries.  Similarity between the gas exchange phenomena in red blood cells in lung capillaries and the heat transfer by multi-phase particulate flow in channel-based heat sinks is the basic idea for this research activity.

Text Box: Everette Inc.


Biofluid Dynamics of the Human Breast: Millions of individuals are affected by health outcomes ranging from carcinoma of the breast to lactation problems, all linked to the anomalies of transport processes in the human breast. For example, lactation problems have a profound and long-lasting impact on the broader health outcomes of the society: breastfeeding has a solidly-documented positive effect on the life-long health of the infant, as well as positive correlation with the health of the mother. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding and lactation dis-functionalities in US result on the order of $13 billion per year in medical costs and lost productivity, as well as over 900 deaths, nearly all infants. Despite the scientific importance and impact on public health, bio-transport processes in the human breast have not been comprehensively studied, and are currently not well-understood.

This research activity is dedicated to a fundamental study of the human breast ductal system and its bio-transport operation, answering many open bio-mechanical questions that arise from the unique structure of the breast as well as its interaction with a non-uniform dynamical external force/pressure (infant) whose precise characteristics remain a subject of research.



Advanced Research in Thermo fluid Systems (ARTS) Lab