UTC Mechanical Engineering Researchers Land Department Of Energy Award

  • Wednesday, September 20, 2023
UTC Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Murat Barisik is the principal investigator on a research grant looking at how things move and change in a particular gas environment seen in many applications—such as protecting spacecraft from heat.
UTC Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Murat Barisik is the principal investigator on a research grant looking at how things move and change in a particular gas environment seen in many applications—such as protecting spacecraft from heat.
photo by Angela Foster/UTC
A grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will allow a collaborative team of researchers from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to produce better modeling of reactive gas transport.

UTC will receive $562,497 from the DOE’s Funding for Accelerated, Inclusive Research (FAIR) initiative for “First Principles Multiphase Modeling of Mesoscale Gas Transport in Porous Reactive Systems.”

The Department of Energy recently announced $37 million in funding for 52 projects to 44 institutions to build research capacity, infrastructure and expertise at institutions historically underrepresented in DOE’s Office of Science portfolio.
Through the FAIR initiative, the Office of Science supports mutually beneficial relationships between minority-serving or emerging research institutions and partnering institutions to perform research in applied mathematics, biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geoscience, isotope research, materials science and physics.

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Murat Barisik, who joined the UTC faculty in 2022, is the grant’s principal investigator. UTC Assistant Professor Reetesh Ranjan is one of the co-investigators, while Dr. Ramanan Sankaran leads Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s three-person team.

“This is a great, collaborative team,” Mr. Barisik said. “Hopefully, the grant money will result in improved infrastructure and provide support for our graduate students.”

The research conducted during the three-year grant period will look at how things move and change in a particular gas environment seen in many applications—such as protecting spacecraft from heat. Understanding and modeling these processes is essential for making better materials and devices.
The study focuses on different scales, which means looking at things from tiny to bigger sizes. Barisik said that because of the extensive range of sizes involved, they would use a unique approach instead of a conventional way of computing.

“We will bring a combination of surface chemical reaction calculations coming from quantum calculations, then molecular level calculations for gas dynamics, and then volume average techniques or classical competition of fluid mechanics for the transport of the gas through a confinement,” he said. “Combining all these different scales requires a combination of different techniques, and that requires this kind of multi-scale approach.”
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