TEES

Sadr's research crosses the ocean between College Station and Qatar

March 1, 2018
| By: Jennifer Reiley

SadrDr. Reza Sadr is seeking to bring his research success from his time at the Texas A&M University at Qatar across the ocean to the Texas A&M University campus in College Station by collaborating with researchers within the Department of Mechanical Engineering and beyond. 

Sadr began his tenured faculty track with Texas A&M at Qatar in 2008. He now holds a joint associate professor position at Texas A&M.

"The reason I went [to Qatar] was because I felt there were more research opportunities in terms of funding at the time," Sadr said.

In less than 10 years, Sadr has managed more than $11 million in research. Even with challenges in Qatar, including a lack of personnel and equipment resources, Sadr managed to build the state-of-the-art Micro Scale-Thermo Fluids (MSTF) laboratory with about $1 million in assets and equipment.

"The idea is for those assets to help us have research collaborations and productivity. I work with a couple of faculty in the university and I enjoy multidisciplinary research," Sadr said. "I've been collaborating with faculty at Texas A&M in civil engineering, mechanical, electrical, along with faculty from other universities, both domestic and overseas."

Sadr is an experimentalist interested in thermo-fluid sciences with a focus in fluid mechanics. His research projects have ranged from nano- and micro-fluidics, all the way to atmospheric turbulence with a focus on Energy Efficient Systems. His nano- micro-fluidic research is rooted in his past research work at the Georgia Institute of Technology in development of novel nano Particle Image Velocimetry (nPIV).

His last major project looked into alternative fuels such as gas to liquid (GTL) technology, specifically spray research as part of the Qatar Aviation Fuel Consortium. Working with other researchers in Qatar, United Kingdom and Germany, the team was tasked with looking beyond the current capacity of GTL fuels for jet planes to fully quantify its impact on local air quality and fuel burn. Sadr worked on the combustion team.

"Our work will be used for the development of numerical models, which will be extremely helpful for engineer designers," Sadr said. "We wanted to understand how the fuel behaved so that it could be used by an aviation combustion system designer in the future."

Sadr's latest project is looking into alternative refrigerants. He said these alternative refrigerants would be more environmentally friendly than Freons, which are used to cool most refrigerators and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Shell Inc. is funding Sadr's work to investigate the possibility of developing an alternative refrigerant that not only eliminates or reduces the role of Freons, but also utilizes carbon dioxide to help reduce greenhouse gases. Along with potentially offering an alternative to Freons, Sadr said he will explore other ways to use his product.

"When you buy or build something, you like to have it be multiuse. You don't buy something for one specific action, you want to have it for many different purposes if possible," Sadr said. "When I design my experimental set up I usually try to envision a little bit beyond that particular application."

Sadr has been in College Station since August and said the distance between universities will be a challenge he and other faculty collaborators will have to manage. His goal is to travel to Qatar at least once a semester to work on his research there.

"I think it would be a great help if people could visit across the campuses more frequently," Sadr said.

Sadr is looking to establish relationships with even more researchers at Texas A&M in College Station, and would like to work with others inside and outside of the mechanical engineering department.

"I think there's a lot to be done-I think there's a lot that could be done. I'm trying to use my previous experience to come up with new proposals that matches [College Station] researchers' expertise," Sadr said.

For more information on Sadr's research, visit his research website.

 

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