Dr. Neelesh A. Patankar

Northwestern University


1043 ERF


Surface chemistry and topography of surfaces can be rationally designed to control heterogeneous phase transition. Six phase transitions that correspond to the three states of water/solvent should be systematically studied as a function of chemistry and topography of a textured surface. We have studied the thermodynamics of some these transitions corresponding to liquid-vapor and liquid-solid phase changes. Consequently, conditions that could promote sub-cooled vapor, superheat liquid, and supercooled liquid have been identified, some of which have been experimentally explored. We propose underlying mechanisms responsible for observed properties. The ability to control phase next to textured surfaces can lead to the development of surfaces that remain dry under water, promote boiling at low superheats, delay the Leidenfrost point, and delay icing, among many possibilities. One application area is considered to be problems relating to the “food-energy-water nexus.” Is this application area of surface engineering viable? What do numbers suggest? Answers to these questions will be explored using quantitative estimates.

Neelesh Patankar is Professor and Associate Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (1993) and his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania (1997). Following his Ph.D., he was a post-doctoral associate with Prof. Daniel D. Joseph at the University of Minnesota. He joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University as an Assistant Professor in 2000, and has been a Professor since 2011. He has received the NSF CAREER award and the International Conference on Multiphase Flow’s Junior Award. He has served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Computational Physics and Scientific Reports. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. His research area is computational methods applied to interdisciplinary problems in fluid mechanics and surface engineering for phase change applications such as atmospheric water harvesting, desalination, etc.

Host: Dr. Sushant Anand
For more information, please contact Prof. Sushant Anand at sushant@uic.edu

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