IIE Research Projects

Research Projects at the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE). You can search keywords within Project Titles.

We also have a number of Infrastructure and Environment PhD opportunities for postgraduate students looking to join the School.

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Project Title Principal Supervisor Project Summary
Multi-scale analysis of DEM data to enhance the prediction at system scale

Prof. Jin Ooi

While the discrete element method (DEM) can provide particle-scale information to inform the design of particulate equipment, many industrial sectors are interested in large-scale modelling and scaling-up processes [1].

Investigating the micromechanics of granular soils subjected to cyclic loading using the discrete element method

Dr Kevin Hanley

The objective of this research is to investigate the behavior of Dunkerque sand under undrained triaxial cyclic loading using the discrete element method (DEM).

Particle Dynamics and suspension rheology in electrical discharge

Dr. Jin Sun

The Edinburgh part of the project focuses on multi-physics modelling of particle dynamics and suspension rheology in electrical discharge processes. This work is an integrated part of an EPSRC funded project to develop novel electrical discharge methods (EDM) for functional surface coating, collaborating with The University of Nottingham. This project aims to revolutionise the way industrial electrical discharge machining processes can be used. It will transform the process from a machining only technique to a method that is also capable of novel surface treatments at the same time. 

Rheology of Dense Suspension System containing Frictional and Frictionless Particles

Dr. Jin Sun

From cement and ceramic pastes to paints and drilling fluids, dense suspensions of solid particles immersed in a liquid are ubiquitous in industries.   Understanding the rheology of dense suspensions is important for explaining and predicting the multiphase flow behavior in traditional and innovative industrial processes. In this project, DEM simulations are employed to understand the rheology of suspensions containing different particles with different surface properties.

Simulation of Irregular, Abradable Particles in DEM

Dr Kevin Hanley

Particle shape has important effects on bulk materials as sandpiles and mixtures; temporal changes of the shape (e.g. due to surface abrasion) also have severe consequences in many industrial sectors. To represent irregular particles, a compact “irregularity function” can be stored for each particle which describes how the shape deviates from a bounding sphere. Abrasion can be studied by adopting irregularity functions which can change with time depending on contact force.

Simulation of dense suspensions with discrete element method and a coupled lattice Boltzmann method

Dr. Jin Sun

Suspensions, mixtures of a fluid and particles, are widespread in nature and industry. However, many open questions, such as the particle interactions in dense suspensions, have not been answered [1].

T-MAPPP: Training in Multiscale Analysis of multi-Phase Particulate Processes

Prof. Jin Ooi

T-MAPPP is an Initial Training Network funded by FP7 Marie Curie Actions with 10 full partners and 6 associate partners, aiming to train the next generation of researchers who can support and develop the emerging inter- and supra-disciplinary community of Multiscale Analysis (MA) of multi Phase Particulate Processes.

IFPRI Grindability Project: modelling, measurement and mill fingerprinting

Prof. Jin Ooi

This project aims to develop a robust methodology to characterise the grindability of particulate products in milling operations which will in turn provide a step-change in mill fingerprinting and optimisation.  This involves developing a “grindability test” to measure the comminution characteristics of the particulates which, when coupled with the computational modelling work to characterise the milling function, will evaluate the milling performance measures including energy utilisation, breakage kernels for scale-up modelling such as population balance model of the mill.

Efficient DEM simulation of large systems of non-spherical particles

Dr. Kevin Hanley

To enlarge the scale of discrete element modelled particulate system from spherical to nonspherical; to increase the computational efficiency of simulating the nonspherical system; to provide more insights of particulate solid mechanics in engineering applications.

Finite element implementation and detailed comparison of generalised plasticity models

Dr. Stefanos Papanicolopulos

The lack of an internal length scale parameter in classical continua leads to unrealistic numerical modelling of some phenomena related to the microstructure of the material such as size effect and strain localisation.


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