Our research is focused on fluid mechanics and physics applied to the pulp and paper industry:

We have several research programs including:

High Performance Pulp Processing Equipment Design
Advanced Fibre Technologies (AFT, Aikawa) and NSERC sponsor the following research projects on:

  1. Advanced rotor design (PDF – Sean Delfel)
  2. Low energy pulper rotor design (PhD – Frank Saville)
  3. Improving the maximum capacity of pulp screens (PhD – Hayder Salem)
  4. High strength cylinder design (MASc – Siyavash Towfighi)

Turbulent drag reduction by fibre and polymer suspensions for energy reduction
We have an NSERC Strategic grant with AFT to look at the synergy between fibre and polymer suspensions. The program has 3 projects, including:

  1. Fundamental study of fibre and polymer suspension turbulent drag reduction (PhD – Abbas Nikbakht)
  2. Applications of Turbulent Drag reduction to pressure screening (MASc – Ayesha Chowdhury – completed.  See Publications for Thesis)
  3. Applications of turbulent drag reduction to hydrocyclone operations (MASc – Jordan Mackenzie)

Fibre Design Studio
We have funding from the Green Fibre NSERC Strategic Network to fund the developement of new and novel fibre based products.  Projects include:
1. Foam forming (PhD – coming soon)
2. Foam forming (PDF – coming soon)
3. Origami Engineering (UG – Jacob Bayless)

Fibre Fractionation for next generation papers
FPInnovations and NSERC sponsor a research program on fibre fractionation.  Projects include

1. Multi-stage fractionation for NCC production (MASC – Masita Mohammad)
2. Modeling fibre fractionation in pressure screens (MASc – Francisco Fernandez)
3. Fractionation and modeling of fibre flow in (PhD – Ehsan Zaman)
3. Simulation and optimization of multi-stage fractionation (PDF – Position Available)

Papermachine forming modeling Sponsored by FP Innovations
Hamed Ghasvari Jahromi, PhD Candidate

Energy Reduction in Mechanical Pulping
We also have a large research project on “Electrical energy reduciton in mechanical pulping and pulp processing” which is sponsored by a consortum of companies that include: BC Hydro, Catalyst papers, Howe Sound Pulp and Paper, Canfor, West Fraser, Paprican, Andritz, Advanced Fibre Technology, WestCan, CEATI / OPA,and Honeywell. This research program has projects on:

  1. LC refining of mechanical pulp (PhD – Ali Elahimehr “Effect of plate design”; PhD Student – Nina Rajabinisab “No-load power” and Antti Luukkonen “Low-intensity LC refining;)
  2. Chemical and biological pre-treatments (Research Engineer Harry Chang)
  3. Low energy pumping of fibre suspensions (MASc Student – Imad Abu Yousef [completed] and Maz Jalayer)
  4. Latency removal (PhD – Jiyang Gao)
  5. Novel mechanical pulping (PDF – Jens Heymer)
  6. Control of LC and HC refining (PhD – Eranda Harinath)
  7. Paper product development (MASc – Pawel Trocki – completed)
  8. Fibre Fractionation (PhD – Ario Madani)

For more information on each of these projects please feel free to contact James Olson ( or Mark Martinez (

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Faculty of Applied Science
KAIS 5000 - 2332 Main Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Tel: 604.822.6413
Department of Mechanical Engineering
2054-6250 Applied Science Lane,,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Tel: 604.822.2781
Fax: 604.822.2403

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