Mahdi is currently a graduate student at Iowa State University focused on investigation of multiphase flow phenomena. He is expected to graduate with his PhD in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Chemical Engineering in 2016 under supervision of Professor Michael G. Olsen.
I enjoy being a leader and throughout years, I've been taking responsibility of different groups, organizations, and projects both in professional settings and my personal life. I love how I grow up through these experiences and also how I can provide the circumstances for my friends and colleagues to improve themselves while allowing all the possible productivity in any team being brought into practice.
I'm always pursuing innovation in my work and try to stay active in multiple roles, tasks, and disciplines, bringing together ideas and experiences from each one to another. My current research is an interdisciplinary project to study fluid flow along with heat and mass transfer in a multiphase reactor with applications in chemical and biological systems. I'm building up my expertise about such systems through non-intrusive experimental investigation and numerical simulations. Meanwhile, I am participating in work of other research groups and am involved with a variety of extracurricular activities.
I am focused on different aspects of multiphase fluid flow and heat transfer for my PhD research. My work has a variety of potential applications, from oil well drilling, catalytic reactors in refineries, carbon sequestration units, biofuel production, and algae growth.
I am involved with Prof. S. Subramaniam's group who investigates solid-liquid multiphase flow and heat transfer using Particle Resolved Direct Numerical Simulation (PR-DNS). I also participate in Dr. R. D. Vigil's group, investigating gas-liquid multiphase phenomena including fluid flow and mass transfer in a Taylor-Couette reactor for growing algae. I was part of the early stages of an scale up project in Multi Inlet Vortex Mixer (MIVM) collaborating with Prof. R. O. Fox's group. We are extending our experiments to visualization of liquid-liquid two phase flow of droplets in a bubble column for quantitative phase and velocity field measurements.
Team Work and Diversity
I enjoy working in diverse groups on multidisciplinary projects and prefer to be involved with multiple tasks. During my current PhD program, I am involved with projects regarding fluidized bed multiphase flows, Taylor-Couette vortex reactors, and biorenewables development. I take leadership, diversity, and team work as essential characteristics needed for achieving ambitious goals. I have worked with colleagues from different nationalities, cultures, and beliefs, both men and women and have always learned from different perspectives of diverse collaborators.
I am currently in charge of different laboratories in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, and BioRenewables Laboratories at Iowa State University. As part of my work, I am mentoring new graduate students that join our group and also I supervise undergraduates that help us in our labs.
Beyond my professional work, I have leadership experience in different student organizations, namely, Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Organization (MEGSO), Iranian Students' and Scholars' Association (ISSA), and Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS). One year of being the president of MEGSO allowed me to feel much more comfortable with my experience, knowledge and skills in leading a professional team of bright and motivated graduate students.
I also experienced mentoring new graduate students coming to our department for several years and freshman engineering students for one year through different programs available at ISU. I set the goal of getting young student to be interested in and motivated about their program in the college of engineering along with persuading these young freshmen to consider graduate school as an option after graduation. This was quite a unique leadership experience to keep them motivated about the mentoring program without having any authority or incentive as a given, yet my group was the most successful among among some 40 groups of that year.
Also I lead groups of friends for outdoor activities including hiking, kayaking, and camping as a main hobby of mine. My experience with this type of activity is that no matter how much I plan ahead, there can always be something unpredicted in nature that needs to be dealt with in situ. This has built up some level of managing disasters and rational decision making out of my comfort zone.
Outreach can be considered a means of giving back to the society as well as a mechanism to keep the field sustainable. We took part in a workshop series provided by the Iowa State University Office of Precollegiate Programs for Talented and Gifted (OPPTAG) for exposing some 6th, 7th and 8th grade Talented and Gifted students to the Science and Technology field.
Specifically we designed an activity for introducing granular flows to the kids who visited ISU using examples of breakfast cereal for explaining the Brazil nut effect. Our workshop was called "Granular Easter egg hunt". It was a very fun morning for us and for the 44 participating students who won different prizes during the event and got to learn what parameters affect the movement of different size particles in granular media. Hopefully they will look at day to day examples of such phenomenon around them differently.
I studied in Allameh Helli high school in Tehran and was part of a team designing a robot for a "golf contest" which was way different from what is known as the golf sport. I got my BSc in ME focusing on power systems and my project there involved experimental investigation of free and forced convection heat transfer. I did my MSc in the University of Tehran developing an empirical combustion code for Diesel spray under supervision of Prof. V. Esfahanian.
I have a background about engines, specifically Diesel engines, regarding performance and combustion modelling. I have been involved with research about turbomachinery as well. I have done several experimental projects dealing with fluid flow and heat transfer for years. Through my current position, I am learning about imaging techniques, lasers, and some chemical engineering design.