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    Achievements and Distinctions

    • Fellow of Institute of Chemical Engineers (FIChemE), 2017
    • BIRAC Innovator Award 2017 [for VIVIRA Process Technologies team]
    • Fellow of Indian National Science Academy, 2016
    • VASVIK award in Chemical Sciences and Technology 2014
    • CHEMTECH CEW Outstanding Achievement Award (R &D – Individual Excellence) 2013
    • RPG Life Sciences Professor M M Sharma Medal (IIChE) 2011
    • UAA Distinguished Alumnus Award 2011
    • Member of the editorial board of Sadhana – Academy Proceedings in Engineering Sciences
    • Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, 2011
    • ICT Dr. G. P. Kane Visiting Professor 2010-11
    • Selected as ‘Outstanding scientist’ by CSIR in July 2010
    • Led a technology company ‘Tridiagonal Solutions Pvt. Ltd.’ for two years (2008-10), co-founded ‘Vivira Process Technologies Pvt. Ltd.’ in February 2015
    • Associate Editor of Asia Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering, since Nov 2006
    • CHEMTECH “Outstanding Contribution” Award (Chemical Engineering), 2005
    • Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, 2005
    • Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Engineering Sciences, 2004
    • Herdillia Award for Excellence in Basic Research in Chemical Engineering, 2004
    • AVRA Young Scientist Award, 2003
    • NCL Research Foundation, Best paper in Engineering Sciences, 2003
    • Fluent India Pvt. Ltd., Best technical paper at FLUENT CFD conference, 2003
    • Fellow of MaharashtraAcademy of Sciences, 2001
    • Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers,  Mrs. Chinnamaul Memorial Prize, 2001
    • DST Swarnajayanti Fellowship, 1999
    • Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers,  Mrs. Chinnamaul Memorial Prize, 1998
    • INAE Young engineer award, 1996
    • Young Associate of IndianAcademy of Sciences, 1994
    • NCL Research Foundation, Best paper in Engineering Sciences, 1993
    • CSIR Young Scientist award, 1992
    • UDCT, Mumbai, Best Ph.D. thesis award, 1988

    Research Statement

    The manufacturing processes of chemicals and materials are underpinned by complex mass, momentum and energy interactions. Our research is focused on developing fundamental understanding of these interactions and using it to conceive better (safer, cleaner, smaller and cheaper) transformation processes. We are addressing scientific questions in following areas with emphasis on developing competencies for resolving real life challenges:

     

    Multiphase flows with phase change: Phase change processes such as boiling, cavitation, crystallization and precipitation play crucial role in many transformation processes. Significant enhancements in productivity and new applications/ products can be realized if these processes are adequately understood. We are carrying out experimental and computational investigations so as to develop mastery on flows with phase change. Aim is to develop a multi-scale modeling framework to tie together models addressing different scales and realize a ‘virtual process engineering’ toolkit for designing processes with phase changes.

     

    Process intensification: Intensification is intrinsic to better chemical and process engineering and has always been used in practice. There is a great scope for intensifying multiphase reactions and reactors for realizing productivity enhancements, which are crucial for sustainable manufacturing. These enhancements can be in terms of increased throughput; better yield, conversion, and selectivity; smaller environmental footprint; and intrinsically safer operations. We develop different strategies for intensifying multiphase reactions and reactors. Aim is to pave the way towards realizing next generation productivity for chemical and allied industries.

     

    This research is expected to generate new knowledge on multiphase systems, phase changes, chemical and physical interactions and multi-scale physicochemical models of commercially relevant systems. This new knowledge is expected to expand, enrich and strengthen the chemical engineering domain and impact on society. New knowledge and insights gained through these will be applied to realize significant impact in the following areas:

     

    Sustainable manufacturing of fine and specialty chemicals: The focus is on developing and using process intensification strategies to realize modular, compact and continuous processes for fine and specialty chemicals. Significant improvements in (1) consumption of raw materials and utilities (2) product quality and (3) safety will be realized. The ideas and methodology will also lead to reduction in spatial as well as environmental foot print of these manufacturing facilities.

     

    Sustainable energy: The focus is on (1) underground coal gasification, (2) safety of nuclear reactors and (3) transforming waste biomass to energy and chemicals. The biomass utilization is the major focus with the aim of developing economically viable modular processes for distributed transformations of waste biomass to energy and chemicals. New ideas and opportunities of harnessing hydrodynamic cavitation for pre-treating waste biomass and for enhancing performance of anaerobic digesters will be investigated.

     

    Sustainable water: Our work on hydrodynamic cavitation will be developed further to make an impact on distributed and in-line effluent treatment strategies. The cavitation can also be synergistically combined with other water treatment strategies like coagulation and adsorption for developing effective water treatment strategies. The work has a significant potential to reduce net water consumption in industries by developing appropriate recycle and reuse strategies.

     

    The proposed research is globally relevant and we believe that with appropriate collaborators as well as industry partners, the group can establish a leadership position.

    Research Interests

    • Process intensification, chemical reactor engineering, scale-up

    • Multiphase flows, industrial flow modeling, computational fluid dynamics (CFD)

    • Applications in energy, water and fine & specialty chemicals sectors

    • Innovation, spin-outs and start-up companies

    •  

    Other

    Experience

    • Since August 2016: Professor of Chemical Engineering, Queens University of Belfast

    • April 1990-July 2016: Scientist at National Chemical Laboratory (Scientist H since July 2010); led research on sustainable chemical technologies, process intensification and multiphase flows; Successfully completed several industrial research & consultancy assignments from multinational and Indian industries; presently handling responsibility of a Deputy Director.

    • June 2008- May 2010: CEO and CTO of Tridiagonal Solutions Pvt Ltd. (TSPL); led a dynamic team of 30+ professionals for developing products and engineering solutions to a wide range of industry. Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tridiagonal Solutions (2008 – 2014)

    • 2003-16: Adjunct Professor of Chemical Engineering at UDCT/ UICT/ ICT, Mumbai

    • Guest Researcher at Twente University of Technology (1997-98) and at Delft University of Technology (1993-94), The Netherlands and at ETH Zurich (1988-90), Switzerland.

     

    Professional Affiliations

    • Associate Editor of ACS journal: Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research
    • Member of Editorial board of Chem. Engg. Research & Design and Indian Chemical Engineer
    • Life member of Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE)
    • Life member of UDCT Alumni Association/ was Vice President of Pune chapter

     

    Technologies/ products licensed in last 5 years:

    Technologies/ products

    Industry

    Low pressure process for para amino phenol

    Vinati Organics Ltd. [30000 tpa plant]

    Continuous nitrations and diazotization processes

    Aarti Organics Ltd. [~3300 tpa plant]

    Effluent treatment technology/ Vortex diode as cavitation device

    Vivira Process Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

    Micro-mixer and reactors

    Amar Equipment Pvt. Ltd.

    Glass lined tubular reactor

    GMM Pfaudler Ltd.

     

    Some of the High value projects led in last 5 years:

    Research Projects

    Brief description

    Indus MAGIC (indusmagic.org)

    Led team of 30 scientists from 5 laboratories and their students. Developed sound scientific basis for realizing MAGIC processes and plants. Converted several batch processes to continuous ones. Developed laboratory scale proof of concepts of more than 50 processes; >20 bi-lateral projects; > 35 patents/ disclosures; > 100 journal publications, two books and one start-up company.

    Process for dimethyl carbonate

    Developed a first of its kind process for dimethyl carbonate from urea and methanol. Completely new families of catalysts (homogeneous as well as heterogeneous) were developed. The process is established on bench scale.

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    Frequent Journals

    • Chemical Engineering Science

      ISSNs: 0009-2509

      Elsevier BV

      Scopus rating (2017): CiteScore 3.44 SJR 1.043 SNIP 1.516

      Journal

    • INDUSTRIAL & ENGINEERING CHEMISTRY RESEARCH

      ISSNs: 0888-5885

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1520-5045

      American Chemical Society

      Scopus rating (2017): CiteScore 3.4 SJR 0.978 SNIP 1.203

      Journal

    • Chemical Engineering Research and Design

      ISSNs: 0263-8762

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1744-3563

      Institution of Chemical Engineers

      Scopus rating (2017): CiteScore 3.08 SJR 0.847 SNIP 1.381

      Journal

    • AIChE Journal

      ISSNs: 0001-1541

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1547-5905

      American Institute of Chemical Engineers

      Scopus rating (2017): CiteScore 3.31 SJR 1.015 SNIP 1.331

      Journal

    • Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering

      ISSNs: 0008-4034

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1939-019X

      Wiley-Liss Inc.

      Scopus rating (2017): CiteScore 1.24 SJR 0.377 SNIP 0.614

      Journal

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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 72485659