Seminar - “Thin Porous Materials:Characterization Challenges & Modeling Opportunities” by Jeff Gostick, Department of Chemical Engineering, McGill University

Friday, January 29, 2016 1:45 pm - 1:45 pm EST

ABSTRACT:  Thin porous materials are found in many critical applications such as battery and fuel cell electrodes, wound dressings, filtration membranes, fabrics and paper, to name a few.  The standard body of porous media techniques and theories have been developed for rock and soil pertaining to reservoirs and aquifers.  Consequently, studying transport processes in thin porous materials generally requires developing new approaches, both experimental and modeling. 

This talk will highlight some of the specific challenges and solutions developed for characterizing such materials, along with a sample of the more relevant findings.  Modeling transport phenomena in thin materials is also a challenge, primarily due to the small length scales involved.  Pore network modeling has proven to be a powerful technique in these cases, as will be demonstrated by several key examples.  A significant effort has been directed towards the development of OpenPNM, an open-source software package for performing pore network simulations, and the aims and motivations behind this effort will be revealed.

BIO-SKETCH : Professor Jeff Gostick is currently an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal.  He received his undergraduate degree from Ryerson University in Toronto in 2000 and his Master’s degree from University of Waterloo in 2002.  Prior to beginning his PhD, he worked as a Research Engineer at Teck Resources Inc. on the production of zinc powder and fiber for zinc-air flow batteries and medium-scale alkaline batteries.  His PhD work focused on the hydrogen fuel cell.  Upon completion of his PhD in 2009 he did 1 year of post-doctoral work at with the US Department of Energy at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, performing ‘cat-scan’ on porous electrode materials.  He joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at McGill University in 2010 where he runs the Porous Materials Engineering & Analysis Lab.  His current research continues to include fuel cell electrodes in collaboration with industrial partners, but has expanded to include all manner of engineered porous materials ranging from electrospun nanofiber webs for flow battery electrodes and tissue scaffolds, to nanoporous zeolite materials for carbon capture.  He is also a lead developer of the open source pore network modeling project OpenPNM (