Biofilms and flow 

Bacteria, embedded in a self-secreted `gel matrix’, form biofilms – ubiquitous, fascinating communities with important impact on both engineered and natural systems. We are trying to gain understanding of how these biofilms are affected by the characteristics of their aqueous, flowing environment (read more)

Membrane fouling and its mitigation

Industrial scale deployment of membrane-based water production is often hindered by performance loss associated with fouling – the deposition of material onto the membrane surface. We are exploring novel ways of reducing fouling as well as means of reversing it  (read more)

Energy conversion through phase-exchange thermo-acoutic processes

Sound waves, the periodic compression-expansion of a fluid in time and space, are `virtual pistons’ capable of performing useful work without the need for moving parts. We look at how these sound waves may be spontaneously excited and used for energy conversion (read more)

Deposition of bacteria and colloids onto permeating surfaces

Deposition of colloids and bacteria onto permeating interfaces (e.g. membranes) is strongly influenced by the presence of hydrodynamic forces that increase the propensity for irreversible deposition and fouling. Through modeling and careful experimentation, we hope to quantify these processes in an attempt to develop strategies for minimizing unwanted deposition (read more)

Salinity gradient power

When two streams of different salinity are mixed, energy is released. Using membranes, this mixing process may be preformed controllably, allowing extraction of clean and renewable energy (read more)

Membrane transport

Modern membranes used for desalination are composite structures where an ultra-thin, dense polymeric film is cast on top of a nano-porous underlying support. Finite-element numerical models are used to probe the effect of the film morphology, e.g. its roughness, and the support (e.g. pore size), on the overall permeability and fouling propensity of the composite membrane  (read more)