Research Webinar | High-Performance Computational Models for Process Optimization and Intensification, by Professor Bruno Blais

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 11:00 am - 11:00 am EDT (GMT -04:00)

Please join us to hear Professor Bruno Blais from École Polytechnique speak about his research group’s initiatives to leverage high-performance computing, computational fluid dynamics and the discrete element method to help optimize and intensify chemical processes.

All graduate ChE students will receive an Outlook calendar event with webinar access details.

Everyone is welcome – If you are not a graduate ChE student, contact the Manager of Graduate Studies for the access information you need to join the webinar.   


Simulations have become ubiquitous to the design and optimization of chemical and manufacturing processes. They can provide great and detailed insight into the physical mechanisms at play and allow researchers to obtain information that is not obtained through experiments. This allows for a deeper understanding of the process and quantitative predictions. Increasingly available HPC facilities can be leveraged to carry out accurate simulations with short turnover time. Coupled with optimization algorithms (black box or adjoint-based) they can enable significant process enhancement through topology optimization. Combining them with artificial intelligence and deep learning strategies enables short turnover time and can efficiently replace correlations.

In this talk, Professor Blais will discuss the initiatives of his group to leverage high-performance computing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the discrete element method (DEM) to help optimize and intensify chemical processes. He will discuss the core research orientations they have taken and illustrate, using examples taken from single phase mixing, multiphase mixing, turbulent flows, rotating packed bed reactors and heat exchanger optimization how high-performance computing, optimization and deep learning can be leveraged to help in the design of complex unit operations.

He will conclude by presenting a short roadmap of their future research activities on multiphysics fluid and granular flow modeling through their open source platform: Lethe (

Biographical Sketch

Professor Blais’ expertise lies in the development, verification and validation of high-performance digital models for fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and complex multi-physical and multi-scale phenomena.

He has been an assistant professor at École Polytechnique since 2018. Before that, he was a research officer with the Automotive and Surface Transportation Portfolio of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC AST) where he has carried out extensive work on multiphysics modelling with industrial collaborators.

He earned a BEng in Chemical Engineering, an Engineering Diploma from ENSTA Paristech, a master’s degree in Fundamental Fluid Mechanics from ENSTA and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Polytechnique Montreal. Professor Blais is a Vanier Graduate Scholar (2012-2016) and has received the Governor’s General gold academic medal for his thesis work on numerical modelling of multiphase flows.