Computational Transport Phenomena for Undergraduates

Charles A. Petty (presenter) and Karuna S. Koppula

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Computational

Transport Phenomena (CTP) technologies have advanced to the point where commercial software can readily be integrated into the engineering curriculum. These enabling technologies portend a paradigm shift in how next generation undergraduate students in science and engineering will learn about momentum, heat, and mass transfer in reacting and non-reacting fluids. CTP simulations provide a means for understanding physical phenomena and for discussing the consequences of design decisions in single phase and multiphase flows. This poster illustrates the practical utility of using CTP to explore the boundaries of traditional transport phenomena problems commonly employed in the undergraduate curriculum.

Faculty and graduate students in the College of Engineering at Michigan State University have used Flowlab ( as a teaching aid with freshman, sophomore, and junior level chemical engineering students. Prototypical examples have been used to complement specific lectures and/or analysis of experimental data in the laboratory related to unsteady state heat transfer, developing flow in a pipe at low Reynolds numbers, expanding flow in a pipe, radial flow between parallel disks, and batch sedimentation. These examples, and others, will be used to illustrate how CTP simulations can be used to support a classroom discussion about the physical nature of transport phenomena and the limitations of empirical correlations.