Inaugural Lecture of Professor Prashant Valluri, Personal Chair in Fluid Dynamics
From Billy Rosendale
Earth is 75% covered with water and wrapped around 100% by air. Our bodies are around 70% fluid too. Everything, and of course that includes us, is influenced by flowing fluids! Simply put – fluid dynamics is the science and engineering of flows spanning across spatial and time scales. Flows can involve many phases, exhibit phase change, form waves of complex shapes and be at any speed. They respond instantly to changes in temperature, pressure and concentration and can promote reactions.
By nature – flows are unstable. In fact, flows speak the language of instabilities. Instabilities are universal and are key towards driving any system, be it engineered, human or natural, away from order. And, this is one of the key reasons why many engineering (and scientific) problems remain unsolved. In this talk, I will give a glimpse of the fascinating world of multiphase flow instabilities, to "listen" to them and then understand their unique language to engineer a better and inclusive future!
Prashant Valluri was born and brought up in Mumbai, India. He read Chemical Engineering at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University (Lonere, India) graduating with a Bachelor of Technology degree in 1998. He then worked at Unilever Research India in Mumbai until 2000, after which he pursued his PhD at Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London under the supervision of Prof Omar Matar and the late Prof Geoffrey Hewitt. His PhD topic was on understanding multiphase fluid dynamics in separation columns with structured packings. After his PhD in 2004, he continued at Imperial College London as a post-doctoral research associate in industry-academia projects concerning multiphase flows in energy and FMCG sectors. He joined the School of Engineering at The University of Edinburgh as a Lecturer in 2009 and was promoted to Personal Chair in Fluid Dynamics in 2020.
He has expertise in numerical and theoretical techniques to study complex industrial multiphase flows. His research has resulted in development of three bespoke open source flow solvers: TPLS 3.0, GISS and VaPor. These have revealed fundamental insights in energy and medical applications including thermal management of microelectronics, multiphase pipeline flows, post-combustion carbon capture and mapping of brain temperatures.
He chairs the UK Multiphase Flows and Transport Phenomena Special Interest Group within the EPSRC funded UK Fluids Network. He has led and participated in several national and international consortia pursuing research into phase-change fluid dynamics. From 2017, he has been leading the EC funded ThermaSMART Consortium (€1.7 M) comprising 21 industry/academic partners from 15 countries spanning 5 continents, for research into phase-change thermal management of high-power microprocessors. In 2021, he was appointed as a member of EPSRC’s Engineering Strategic Advisory Team.