May 28, 2019

Guest Lecture on ‘Demonstration Experiments in Chemical Engineering’


The Department of Chemical Engineering, MVJCE, organised a Guest Lecture on ‘Demonstration Experiments in Chemical Engineering’ by Dr. K Kesava Rao, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, IISc, Bangalore.

The session was conducted at Seminar Hall 6, from 9.30 am to 11.00 am, on 04.05.2019.


The Guest Lecture was attended by 70 students of 4th and 6th Semesters, along with 7 faculty members, from the Department of Chemical Engineering.

About the Speaker:

Dr. K Kesava Rao, Professor, IISc, Bangalore, has completed his BE in Chemical Engineering from IIT, Madras (1997), MS in Chemical Engineering from University of Houston (1979) and Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering), from University of Houston (1982). He worked as Postdoctoral fellow in Princeton University.

His major research interests concern Engineering and design of processes and tools for treatment of water from various sources, to make them compatible for human consumption or environmental release. Recent research work includes defluoridation of water, denitrification of water in a microbial fuel cell (MFC), granular flow etc. He has authored a book ‘An Introduction to Granular Flow’, Cambridge University Press (2008). He has more than 25 publications in reputed journals.

The Contents of the Lecture, in brief

The Lecture was very educative and informative to students as well as faculty. The hands-on experimental demonstrations showing simple real-world problems helped the Chemical Engineering students to understand basic principles in fluid and particle mechanics, heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics and chemical reactions.  Dr. Rao demonstrated around 25 experiments like flow of sand and water through vertical orifices, steam boat experiment –putt-putt boat to show the thrust of steam, emptying of non-vented containers, dilatancy of granular materials, transmission of forces in static columns of granular materials, flow of sand through a standpipe and a hopper, an analog of Ostwald ripening which showed that pressure drop varies non-monotonically with the radius   of a balloon. He said, “It is everyday things that are interesting, important, and intellectually difficult”. These demonstrations helped the students to understand fundamental principles in science and engineering courses, and aided students in securing foundational insights into concepts they might not otherwise find from a traditional lecture.  The experiments shown were inexpensive and easy to set up.

Outcome of the Event:

This Guest Lecture helped to stimulate thought processes, arousing interest and motivating further inquiry and discussion among students. These simple experiments illustrating principles of fluid and particle mechanics, thermodynamics heat and mass transfer helped the students to understand the basic concepts of Chemical Engineering, better. Also, these experiments were useful supplements to the courses.