Nima Moallemi, PhD student in the School of Engineering, has been awarded the 2015 Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Society of Canada Student Scholarship, which recognizes excellence in a student’s CFD research in Canada.
Moallemi was raised in Bandar Abbas, a coastal city in Iran with a large oil and gas industry. As a high school student, he had the opportunity to tour numerous oil, gas, and power plants, and was immediately attracted to an engineering career.
“I chose mechanical engineering because there is the potential to work in many different fields,” says Moallemi.
Moallemi has completed two Masters Degrees in mechanical engineering: one in Iran, and one on UBC’s Okanagan campus. Dr. Joshua Brinkerhoff, Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering, was a member of Nima’s supervisory committee, and was intrigued by his work.
“I was interested in the type of research Nima did,” says Brinkerhoff. “For his Masters degree, he looked at the instability of a free jet used in electronics cooling applications. He used computers to simulate the fluid flow. My research also investigates the growth and interactions of instabilities with flows so I saw a synergy between his background and my research interests.”
The criteria for the CFD Society of Canada Student Scholarship includes high quality research in the field of fluid mechanics, while also considering industrial applications of the research considered.
Moallemi’s PhD topic is simulating multiphase turbulent flows in wastewater treatment processes in order to optimize a fluidized bed reactor that removes phosphorus from wastewater streams. Phosphorus can cause occlusion in wastewater treatment plant equipment, causing breakdowns and failures. If found in our environment in high quantities it can cause significant growth in algea, which reduces the oxygen content in water which is dangerous for fish populations.
“This award promotes the development of CFD research in Canada,” explains Brinkerhoff. “Having it go to someone in British Columbia shows an important growth in this area of research in British Columbia, which has historically been mostly in Ontario and Quebec. It also acknowledges that Nima’s work is quite significant.”