Personal profile


Dr. Ali Ozel was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Fluid Mechanics at the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, France in October 2011 with a financial support from the Marie Curie Fellows Association Grant of European Commission. As a post-doctoral fellow at the Fluid Mechanics Institute of Toulouse (Institut de Mécanique des Fluides de Toulouse), he collaborated with a multi-national chemical company Ineos Group Limited (INEOS, France), the Mechanics and Engineering Institute in Bordeaux (Institut de Mécanique et d’Ingénierie) and Chemistry Laboratory in Toulouse (Laboratoire de Génie Chimique). He then worked as an associate research scholar in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University, USA for three years. Dr. Ozel has B. Sc. and M. Sc. degrees in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, Turkey and Research Master in Environmental and Applied Fluid Dynamics from von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, Belgium. He joined at Heriot-Watt University as an assistant professor of oil and gas engineering in September 2017. 

Research interests

Dr. Ozel’s research experiences and collaborations have allowed him to work with various international academic, industrial, and governmental institutions. Through these projects, he has developed expertise in a wide range of disciplines within fluid mechanics from single phase turbulent flows to environmental fluid dynamics, and reactive flows to multi-scale modeling of fluid-particle flows.

His current research field is fluid-particle flows. He has been using the multi-scale modeling approach to develop theoretical and numerical models for fluid-particle flows. He has pursued three levels of modeling: Particle Resolved Direct Numerical Simulation at micro-scale, Euler-Lagrange approach at meso-scale, and Euler-Euler (two-fluid) two-phase modeling at macro-scale. At each scale, he has sought to systematically post-process simulation results to formulate coarse constitutive models for filtered two-fluid model and coarse-grained Euler- Lagrange approaches to simulation of industrial scale devices. His recent focus has been on particle assemblies manifesting cohesion through van der Waals, liquid bridge capillary forces and triboelectric charging.

Dr. Ozel has also been working on the development and deployment of state-of-the-art computational modeling and simulation tools to accelerate the commercialization of solvent- based carbon capture technologies. Specifically, he carries out finely resolved Volume of Fluid model simulations to predict the solvent/gas/structure interactions for different solvent and gas properties in various geometrical structures relevant to industry, ranging from inclined planes to spherical packed beds. The results are then used for subsequent development of coarse constitutive models for upscaling to device scale simulations.

In addition, he is interested in non-linear phenomena such as shear thickening or thinning, non-uniform shear profiles (shear banding) and wall slip in the rheology of dense granular suspensions. He uses discrete element method to extract macroscopic information such as particle stresses to formulate microstructure based rheological models. These models would be used for some pharmaceutical industrial applications, such as fluidized bed granulations, pharmaceutical tablet coating and drying mixers.

He also co-leads xFlow - Complex Flow Technologies, creates process technology and advanced digital modelling tools to support the transition of the manufacturing and energy sectors into a carbon neutral operation.

xFlow's mission is to bringing clean energy, new storage methods and energy vectors into traditional process engineering. They investigate how to implement at scale the direct use of clean energy sources, electrification, looping, CO2 utilization and Power / Waste-to-X processes among other decarbonization strategies. They rethink traditional devices with a rigorous multiscale methodology to create efficient but also responsive units, and bring novel ideas from proof-of-concept (e.g. a vortex reactor, an oscillating reactor, irradiated units) into full-scale. They first study the physics limiting transport phenomena (momentum, heat, mass) in multiphase reactive flows at micro and mesoscale under different stimuli (e.g. deposition, acoustics, sintering, electrostatics) with experimental flow visualization (e.g. PIV) and high-fidelity models (e.g. LES, CFD/DEM). This microscale information is fed into a macroscopic model combining traditional heuristic methods and advanced statistics / machine learning, and the resulting hybrid digital twins are applied to design more efficient and robust devices (e.g. solar powered reactor), and new control, and monitoring tools.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water


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