The Matar Fluids Group conducts fundamental research in multiphase flows, computational fluid dynamics and machine learning, and immersive technologies with applications in energy, manufacturing, 2D materials, and personalised education and training.
ANTENNA: The ANTENNA programme, a UKRI Prosperity Partnership with the University of Durham and P&G, aims to deliver new analysis and modelling tools to provide a step-change in formulation chemistry. These new tools will provide a transformation in the mechanisms, predictive models and experimental methods that will translate consumer cleaning tasks into tomorrow's formulations. Thereby providing a means of meeting the sustainability challenges of reduced water use, reduced energy use, fewer microfibres and the use of more sustainable chemistries.
BONSAI: BONSAI is an ambitious 3-year research project aimed at investigating the fundamental heat and mass transfer features of boiling flows in miniaturised channels. It combines cutting-edge experiments based on space/time-resolved diagnostics, with high-fidelity interface-resolving numerical simulations, to ultimately provide validated thermal-design tools for high-performance compact evaporators. The project assembles multidisciplinary expertise of investigators at Imperial College London, Brunel University London, and the University of Nottingham, with support from 3 world-leading research institutes: Alan Turing Institute, CERN (Switzerland) and VIR2AL; and 11 industry partners: Aavid Boyd Thermacore, Alfa Laval, CALGAVIN, HEXAG&PIN, HiETA, Hubbard/Daikin, IBM, Oxford nanoSystems, Ricardo, TMD and TTP.
EMBOSS: EMBOSS brings together a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from Brunel, Edinburgh, and Imperial, and six industrial partners and a collaborator (Aavid Thermacore, TMD ltd, Oxford Nanosystems, Intrinsiq Materials, Alfa Laval, CALGAVIN, and OxfordLasers) with expertise in cutting-edge micro-fabrication, experimental techniques, and molecular-, meso- and continuum-scale modelling and simulation. The EMBOSS framework will inform the rational design, fabrication, and optimisation of operational prototypes of a pool-boiling thermal management system. Design optimality will be measured in terms of materials and energy savings, heat-exchange equipment efficiency and footprint, reduction of emissions, and process sustainability. The collaboration with our partners will ensure alignment with the industrial needs, and will accelerate technology transfer to industry.
Graphene production via liquid-base exfoliation of graphite: This project involves a close collaboration with Camille Petit's group at Imperial and that of Jason Stafford's at Birmingham. Here we carry out liquid-based exfoliation of graphite to produce graphene using Taylor-Couette flow in a gap separating two counter-rotating cylinders. The project also involves the development of a novel online monitoring device which allows real-time monitoring of the graphene produced. This ‘on-the-fly’ method will enable manufacturers to control the number of atomic layers in the 2D nanomaterials produced, allowing them to monitor the quality and production rates in real time.
MEMPHIS: The Multi-scale Exploration of MultiPHase physIcs in flowS (MEMPHIS) is a £5m Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Programme Grant. This project, led by OKM, is a collaboration between Imperial, Birmingham, Nottingham, and UCL to create the next generation modelling tools for complex multiphase flows. The Programme will achieve this goal by developing a single modelling framework that establishes a transparent linkage between input (models and/or data) and prediction, optimal selection of massively-parallelisable numerical methods, capable of running efficiently on 105-106 core supercomputers, optimally-adaptive, three-dimensional resolution, and the most sophisticated multi-scale physical models.
MUFFINS: The MUFFINS project assembles a multidisciplinary team from Newcastle University, Imperial College London, Glasgow University, industrial partners including BP, Chevron, TOTAL and TechnipFMC, who are members of the Transient Multiphase Flow and Flow Assurance Consortium (TMF), Wood, Xodus, Orcina and TNO in the Netherlands, and an academic partner, the National University of Singapore, to develop the next generation of pioneering technologies and cost-efficient tools for the safe, reliable and real-life designs of subsea systems, such as flowlines, pipelines, risers, jumpers and manifolds, transporting multiphase hydrocarbon liquid-gas flows and subject to internal/external hydrodynamic excitations.
PETCEMS: The overarching goal of the centre is to address key challenges involving the engineering of multiphase systems in the energy industry. The thematic areas cover multiphase transfer processes, chemistry and materials, sand management, and systems engineering. The project within these areas will feature multi-scale experiments, molecular modelling and simulation, pore-scale modelling, computational fluid and solid dynamics, machine-learning and big data analytics, and process systems modelling and optimization. The results from these projects will provide a range of solutions for PETRONAS, and create impact on the multiphase systems academic and industrial communities.
PREMIERE: A £6.5M EPSRC grant to create unprecedented impact in healthcare, energy and manufacturing sectors to drive economic growth. PREMIERE stands for PREdictive Modelling with QuantIfication of UncERtainty for MultiphasE Systems. This programme is aimed at advancing machine learning, computational fluid dynamics and design of experiments to create ultra-fast predictive models. PREMIERE will address wide spectrum of challenges that will result in a paradigm-shift in multiphase flow research worldwide. PREMIERE framework will provide novel and more efficient manufacturing processes, reliable design tools for the oil-and-gas industry which will improve safety management, and reduce emissions and carbon footprint. This framework will also provide enabling technology for the design, operation, and optimisation of the next-generation nuclear reactors, as well as patient-specific therapies for diseases.
Use of immersive technologies for personalised education: Virtual reality (VR) learning has found significant uptake within Shell and Imperial over the last couple of years. Training outcomes and learning retention rates can be improved by simulating realistic VR scenarios rather than instructional training sequences. By integrating EEG and Eye-tracking data, this platform provides real-time feedback for VR training in trainees' cognitive engagement, workload and alert levels. The objective is to use these matrices for making informed decisions on-the-fly to influence and improve trainee engagement. This extra layer of human behavioural analytics can help make training activities more effective and improve learning-retention rates, especially across high-impact industries like education, health, manufacturing, emergency responses, and public safety, where both Shell and Imperial are vital players.