Visions Realized: Using COMSOL Multiphysics to Prepare Students for the Modern World

Bruce A. Finlayson
University of Washington
Washington, USA

This talk demonstrates the success in teaching chemical engineering undergraduates to use COMSOL Multiphysics (FEMLAB) to solve realistic problems in a project format. Undergraduates have been creative and solved problems much more difficult than those in their textbooks, thus gaining a deeper understanding of transport processes. Illustrations are also given how they check to see they’ve solved the desired problem.

Convenient features in COMSOL Multiphysics are illustrated in students applications to microfluidics (flow and diffusion in T-sensors, serpentine mixers, and small orifices), antigen binding to immobilized antibodies, Soret convection, and modeling polymer mixing applications in water treatment.


Keynote speaker's biography: Bruce A. Finlayson is the Rehnberg Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. His research interests have included modeling various types of chemical reactors, flow of liquid crystals, polymers, and ferrofluids, and most recently microfluidics. The microfluidic work is done together with undergraduate researchers, who are establishing design procedures and correlations for pressure drop and dispersion in microfluidic devices. He obtained a BA and MS from Rice University and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. He is in the National Academy of Engineering, and in 2000 was the President of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Bruce A. Finlayson was one of the keynote speakers at the COMSOL User's Conference, fall 2005 in Boston

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