Venkat Raman, Associate Professor at University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics has won the Moncrief Grand Challenge Faculty Award for his research on developing computer models for algae-based fuel production. Raman, along with another professor, who is working on improving coastal security, will receive up to $75,000 during the 2012-2013 academic year to conduct their research at the university’s Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES).
Raman will work on computational modeling of photobioreactors for algae-based fuel production. Algae growth is highly sensitive to the light exposure, which is directly controlled by the turbulent flow inside the reactor. Large-scale turbulent mixing not only changes light attenuation through the growth medium, it also affects the exposure time of the algae cells to different light conditions. Understanding these fundamental interactions will also enable the design of large-scale photobioreactors.
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