Victor Francia

Office: Roberts Building, Room 222, UCL

Email:  v.francia@ucl.ac.uk

Phone: +44(0)2031081075

Education:

  • EngD. Doctor in Engineering, University of Birmingham. UK.
  • Expert. International crisis prevention & management. Universidad Carlos III. Spain.
  • Master. Environmental sciences & international cooperation. EOI, Spain.
  • Chemical Engineer (5-year degree). Universidad de Salamanca. Spain.

Research:                              

Victor is a Chemical Engineer from Universidad de Salamanca, Spain, 2006, in addition to holding other qualifications in law, environmental science and humanitarian fields. After graduating he worked in corporate R&D (Manager, P&G, UK), and management of water infrastructures (Engineer, Acciona, Spain) before moving to academia. He obtained a professional doctorate in engineering, EngD, working for P&G and University of Birmingham on agglomeration during spray drying collaborating with academics in Leeds, Sheffield and Imperial College London. He joined Imperial as visiting researcher in 2012/13 on multiphase flow modelling and later worked as consultant (Hexxcell Ltd. spin off from Imperial College London) for the oil & gas industry i.e. ExxonMobil, on modelling of fouling processes in crude oil refineries.

Victor’s research deals with process design in the fields of powder technology and multi-phase flows. Some of his previous work covers turbulence and fluid mechanics, membranes, heat transfer processes, fouling, atomization, agglomeration and drying processes. His doctoral work defines a new holistic platform to study inter-particle interactions in spray dryers and gave rise to the first evidence of a fascinating phenomenon: generation of dynamic granular structures of deposits that ultimately defines how efficiently we are today in manufacturing fast transport consumer goods worth $ billions/year [7]. More recently, his research at Imperial and in consultancy work has focused in modelling particle laden flows, optimization and process systems engineering.

In 2016, he joined the Centre for Natured Inspired Engineering to work on dynamic self-organization: how individual interactions in a discrete phase develop a complex collective behaviour and give birth to time or spatial patterns in macroscopic structures. Taking inspiration from self-assembly mechanisms in nature e.g. fractal growth of bacterial colonies, crystallization or snow, Victor looks into engineering self-adaptive materials that can rearrange their morphology in response to a changing environment. Dynamic structures open the way to advance technology in heath, manufacturing or energy sectors e.g drug and catalytic carriers, self-healing / sensing materials and process intensification.  

Teaching:

2017-18 / BSc level / Process Plant Design Module, CENG301P.

2017-18 / CENGM04P / Nature-Inspired Chemical Engineering. Fluidization theme, MEng level.  

Projects:                      

Invited talks:                             

  1. Seminar at the Institute of Particle Science and Engineering, IPSE. 1h. Invited by Prof Mojtaba Ghadiri. June 2011. Relevance of particle aggregation in counter-current spray drying. University of Leeds, UK.
  2. Invited lecture at Bachelor of Chemical Engineering. 2h. December 2017. Invited by Prof. Junwang Tang. “Fouling on heat transfer surfaces: Design of shell-and-tube heat exchangers”. University College London, UK.
  3. Seminar at the Masters of Chemical Engineering. 1h. December 2017. Invited by Dr Mariano Martin. “Multiphase Flows in the Process Industry. From process intensification to smart materials”. University of Salamanca, Spain.

Publications:                         

Papers in peer reviewed scientific journals.

  1. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2017. Agglomeration during spray drying: Airborne clusters or breakage at the walls? Chemical Engineering Science 162: 284-299. [Link]
  2. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2016. Agglomeration in counter-current spray drying towers. Part B: Interaction between multiple spraying levels. Powder Technology 301: 1344-1358. [Link]
  3. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2016. Agglomeration in counter-current spray drying towers. Part A: Particle growth and the effect of nozzle height. Powder Technology 301 : 1330-1343. [Link]
  4. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2016. Use of sonic anemometry for the study of turbulent swirling flows in large confined industrial units. Flow Measurement and Instrumentation.  50 : 216-228. [Link]
  5. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2015. Influence of wall friction on flow regimes and scale up of swirl spray dryers. Chemical Engineering Science 134: 399-413. [Link]
  6. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2015. An experimental investigation of the swirling flow in a tall-form counter-current spray dryer. Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 65 : 52-64. [Link]
  7. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2015. The role of wall deposition and re-entrainment in swirl spray dryers. AIChE Journal 61, 6 : 1804-1821. [Link]


Peer reviewed conference papers.

  1. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2014. Deposition and wear of deposits in swirl spray driers: The equilibrium exchange rate and the wallborne residence time. Full paper and oral presentation. 7th World Congress in Particle Technology WCPT, Beijing, R.P. China. Procedia Engineering, 102 : 831 – 840. [Link]
  2. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2014. Particle aggregation in large counter-Current spray drying towers: Nozzle configuration, vortex momentum and temperature. Full paper and oral presentation. 7th World Congress in Particle Technology WCPT, Beijing, R.P. China. Procedia Engineering, 102 : 668 - 675. [Link]
  3. Ali M, Mahmud T, Heggs PJ, Ghadiri M, Francia V, Bayly AE, Djurdjevic D, Ahmadian H, Martin L. 2013. CFD modeling of a counter-current spray drying tower. Full paper and oral presentation. Proceedings of the 8th International Congress in Multi phase Flow, ICMF. Jeju, South Korea.
  4. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2013. The role of wall friction in the development, decay and breakage of an air turbulent confined vortex. Full paper and oral presentation. Proceedings of the 8th International Congress in Multi phase Flow, ICMF. Jeju, South Korea.
  5. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons, MJH. 2011. Origin of particle aggregation mechanisms in a pilot scale counter-current spray drying tower. Full paper and oral presentation. Proceedings of the 5th International Granulation Workshop. Lausanne, Switzerland.

Other communications at international conferences

  • Wu K, Francia V, Coppens M-O. Conditions for Pattern Formation in Pulsed Fluidized Beds. AIChE Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN, USA.
  • Francia V, Wu K, De Martin L., Coppens M-O. The role of particle friction in the stabilization of pulsed gas-solid fluidized beds. From surface waves to structured bubble nucleation. AIChE Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN, USA.
  • Wu K, Francia V, De Martin L., Coppens M-O. The role of granular rheology in structuring bubble flow in gas-solid fluidized beds.10th World Congress in Chemical Engineering 2017. Barcelona, Spain.
  • Francia V, Wu K., Coppens M-O. 2017. Dynamic structures in bubbling gas - solid fluidised beds: The role of the local granular rheology. National Energy Technology Laboratory. NETL. Department of Energy US. Morgantown, West Virginia, WV, USA.
  • Lanchas-Fuentes L., Díaz-Bejarano E., Francia V. Macchietto S., Coletti F. 2016. Cleaning heat exchangers: how, when, where and how much? Abstract and oral presentation. AIChE Spring Meeting 2016. Houston. USA.
Victor Francia