08 September 2017

ISMIP 9 conference experience

Sergio Carrillo De Hert

Taking place over four days from June 25-28 at the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham, the International Symposium on Mixing in Industrial Processes IX (ISMIP IX) gathered a large number of international experts from five continents.

The symposium, held in a triennial basis since 1995, demonstrated the enthusiasm of over 45 speakers and over 120 attendees. Furthermore, the presentations given by the 7 keynote speakers, the scientific committee integrated by over 35 specialists from over 16 countries guaranteed the quality and the international character of the event.

The symposium gathered a wide variety of experts in topics such as turbulence characterization, multiphase processing, biochemical processing, microfluidics, computational fluid dynamics among many others. The warm welcome given by the Professor Mark Simmons from the University of Birmingham and Dr Gul Ozcan Taskin from Loughborough University during the reception forecasted the success of the event provided the large number of participants, industrial sponsors and worldwide interest.

My PhD studies at the University of Manchester have revolved around emulsification using mechanically stirred devices such as high-shear mixers. Needless to say, keynote speakers such as Professor Richard Calabrese, Professor Suzanne Kresta and Professor Jerzy Baldyga are pioneers in the field and their work has influenced my research enormously. Having the opportunity to meet the leaders of my field of research, listening to their feedback and presentations was very stimulating. For example, to inaugurate the third session, Professor Richard Calabrese, presented the derivation of a model for crystal wet milling. He used an analogous approach to the one used in his famous mechanistic model for emulsification of viscid dispersed phases. I found his presentation very interesting as it demonstrates how previous knowledge on liquid-liquid systems is transferable to solid-liquid ones.

In the same session in which I participated, Dr Gustavo Padron and Dr Gül Özcan-Taşkın presented their work on solid-liquid multiphase systems, Cyrus Spinoza on the flow characteristics inside an in-line rotor-stator using angle-resolved Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), Christia Casugbu on equipment selection and myself, on the effect of viscosity on emulsification kinetics. Dr. Padron studied the effect of solid hold-up and continuous phase viscosity in the de-agglomeration of solid particles using an in-line rotor-stator. He concluded that de-agglomeration depends more on the flow conditions around the particles than on the rheology of the suspension, despite solid concentration having an effect on its rheology. Dr Gül Özcan-Taşkın, who reported on a similar process using a commercial design microfluidic device reported that the deagglomeration process is fast with this power intensive device but the mechanism of break up is the same as other process devices studied. Dispersion rheology resulting from either increasing the powder concentration or dispersed phase viscosity affected breakup kinetics. These presentations were particularly related to mine; and we were able to notice similarities: the three presentations being on multiphase processing using in-line high shear mixers. Prolific thought-provoking discussions resulted from listening to their presentations.

Some examples of oral presentations given in other sessions that were related to my work were:

  1. Professor Kresta’s research on liquid-draw down and dispersion, she used Focused Beam Reflectance Measurement (FBRM) to study power and mixing energy as scaling variable during liquid-draw down
  2. The one given by Lena Hohl from TU Berlin. Her presentation focused on population balance modelling for double-emulsions
  3. Evita Rumpea’s presentation on drop breakup of shear-thinning liquids in microchannels


Other important contributions worth mentioning were:

  1. The joint-presentation of Professor Adam Kowalski and Professor Hugh Stitt. They pointed out the challenges of industry and marked the pathway for future research in the evaluation of new materials, cost effective manufacturing and process scaling
  2. The fine presentation given by the President of IChemE, Professor Jonathan Seville, which inaugurated the oral sessions, he explained how to use antimatter to follow mixing
  3. Emeritus Professor Alvin Nienow’s, whose presentation pointed out the challenges and misconceptions of mixing in bioprocessing
  4. Professor Jerzy Balyga presented a methodology for multi-scale modelling in product formulation
  5. Dr. Joelle Aubin, presented her CFD studies of transitional flow. She used a very fine mesh to compare her CFD results with PIV data and concluded that the differences were due to imperfections in the experimental set-ups


The conference ended with two important announcements, the first an invitation to submit a paper to the special issue of Chemical Engineering Research and Design and the second that the 10th edition of ISMIP will be hosted by Kobe University, Japan in 2020.

As a young researcher, ISMIP offered me the perfect opportunity to meet some of the most iconic researchers in the field, communicate my findings, broaden my understanding in many of the other disciplines mixing comprises, learn about the exciting research other groups are doing and have a clearer picture of its future trends and of its relevance in the diverse range of industries in which mixing is of uttermost importance. Furthermore, the welcome reception, symposium dinner, poster session and multiple coffee and lunch breaks granted the necessary time for networking and to make the whole experience very enjoyable.

I am very grateful to the ISMIP9 Conference for sponsoring the prize I received as the winner of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Fluid Mixing Processes Special Interest Group (SIG) Student Competition held in Loughborough University in May 10, 2017.

Sergio Carrillo De Hert.


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