Bilkent ME Department

Luca Biancofiore

Assistant Professor

Luca Biancofiore

Address:

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Bilkent University
06800 Bilkent, Ankara

Office:

EA130

Phone:

+90 (312) 290-1697

E-mail:



 

Biography:

I received my Ph.D degree in Fluid Mechanics/Applied Mathematics at University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France) under the supervision of Dr. François Gallaire (EPFL, Switzerland) and Dr. Richard Pasquetti (University of Nice). During my thesis I spent three months as an invited researcher at EPFL. Earlier, I received his BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering at University of L’Aquila (Italy) in 2004 and 2006, respectively.
In light of my research contributions, I was selected as recipient of (i) the 2012 Göran Gustafsson Fellowship in Science (a competitive prize, awarded to three fellows after an international competition, in order to attract promising young scientists to Sweden), (ii) the 2012 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (IEF), (iii) the 2015 Imperial College Junior Research Fellowship. Furthermore, I have been invited to give seminars at several research institutions such as Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden), Weizmann Institute (Rehovot, Israel), Koç University (Istanbul, Turkey), LMSC (Paris-Diderot, France), etc. as further proof of the quality of my research.


Education:

  • Ph.D., Fluid Mechanics, University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis (2011)
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of L'Aquila (2006)
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of L'Aquila (2004)

Research:

My research aim is connecting the skills and the techniques developed during my career for hydrodynamic stability analysis, computational fluid dynamics and numerical modelling to applied technological problems involving phase-changing flows. These flows have several industrial and technological applications, such as Chemical Engineering processes, Tribology and Combustion to name a few. In particular, I have identified several fields in which there is an urgent need of improving fluid dynamics modelling. I summarise below my research areas.

Phase-changing falling liquid films sheared by a turbulent gas/vapour

Liquid films flowing down an inclined plane are very common in everyday life. For instance, we can commonly observe this kind of flow on a window or sloped ground in the midst of a rainfall. The destabilisation of liquid films subjected to gravity can be often dramatic: a host of complex and not-fully understood phenomena, such as formation of regular or chaotic structures, periodic waves, shocks and fronts, rivulets, fingering can be observed. Moreover, many technological applications, in particular in Chemical Engineering processes are interested by falling liquid films. Absorbers/mass exchange process with dilute gas, coating process (where the quality of the coated surface strongly depends on the hydrodynamic behaviour of initial liquid film) and evaporators and, more general, heat exchange processes, with heat transport from the plate to the film and vapor condensation, to give a few examples of the relevance of these flows. In fact, in most applications, phase changes through either evaporation or condensation or both, have to be taken into account. My research goal is developing a rational and systematic theoretical-computational framework to have accurate and efficient predictions of the behaviour of liquid films forced by a turbulent gas/vapour motion, in the presence of a phase change.

Lubricating films under extreme conditions

Fluids are often introduced to reduce friction between moving solid contact surfaces by forming a lubricant
film. Two regimes arise when a full film forms between the surfaces: (i) hydrodynamic lubrication (HL)
and (ii) elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL). EHL occurs under extreme conditions, such as high pressures, when the deformations of the solid surfaces have to be considered. As a result, although EHL often plays a significant role in advanced technological applications, such as automotive, biomedical devices, renewable and oil and gas, Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), many of its fundamental aspects are yet to be unravelled. Many complex phenomena occur in EHL: for instance, an EHL film presents subtle non-Newtonian effects due to the very large contact pressures (usually in the GPa region) and to the operating velocities leading to high shear rates. Piezo-viscosity, shear thinning effect, viscoelasticity are examples of the rheological complexity of these films. Furthermore, another common phenomenon which occurs in EHL is cavitation. Both friction and mechanical damage are strongly influenced by all these subtle effects, pointing out the need of improved predictive models for EHL. My research aims to fulfill this need by developing analytical and numerical tools. The goal is to unravel the complex physics responsible for the subtleties and destabilisations in EHLand to produce predictive models for lubricant failures and friction reduction. In particular techniques and models to bridge the gap between macro- and micro-scales have to been developed to embrace all the aspects of EHL.

Microswimmers in sessile drying droplets

Drying droplets on a substrate are ubiquitous in technological and industrial applications, especially in micro- and nano-fabrication and biotechnology. In particular particles, both passive and active, have a fundamental role in most of them. One of the most important aspect is understanding the shape of a pattern left by the particles once the liquid is fully evaporated. For instance in modern medicine the shape of the pattern left by a drying blood/serum drop is strictly connected to the presence of active bacteria and then to the patient sickness. Unveiling how the bacteria influence the final stain is fundamental to accelerate the diagnosis. However in fluids such as blood or serum the rheology of the droplet is complex with containing numerous different materials that interact with each other to create very complicated patterns. The scope of my research is to model the complexity of these biological fluids to accurately predict the behaviour of sessile drying droplet in presence of both passive and active particles.



Please contact me at luca@bilkent.edu.tr if you are interested in MsC, PhD and PostDoc positions in these fields.

Selected Publications:

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