Victor Francia

 Photo VFrancia

Office: Roberts Building, Room 222, UCL

Education:

EngD. Doctor in Engineering, University of Birmingham, UK.

Expert. International crisis prevention and management, Universidad Carlos III, Spain.

Master. Environmental science and international cooperation, EOI, Spain.

Chemical Engineer (Bsc+Meng). Universidad de Salamanca, Spain.

Research:

Victor is a Chemical Engineer from Universidad de Salamanca, Spain, 2006, and holds other qualifications in environmental science and humanitarian fields. After graduating he worked in corporate R&D (Manager, P&G, UK), and management of water infrastructures (Engineer, Acciona, Spain) and then moved into academia. He obtained a professional doctorate in engineering, EngD, working for P&G and University of Birmingham on agglomeration during spray drying in collaboration with academics in Leeds, Sheffield and Imperial College London. He joined Imperial as visiting researcher in 2012/13 on multiphase flow modelling and later worked as consultant (Hexxcell Ltd. spin off Imperial College London, UK) for the oil & gas industry e.g. ExxonMobil, on optimization and modelling of fouling in crude oil refineries.

Victor's research deals with process design, powder technology and multi-phase flows. His background covers fluid mechanics, membrane and heat transfer processes, fouling, atomization and particle agglomeration and spray drying. His doctoral work defines a new holistic platform to study inter-particle interactions in spray dryers and provides the first evidence of a fascinating phenomenon: a dynamic structure of granular wall deposits in industrial towers that ultimately controls how efficiently we can manufacture consumer goods worth $ billions/year [7]. More recently, his research at Imperial and in consultancy focused in modelling particle laden flows, heat transfer, optimization and process systems engineering.

In 2016, he joined the Centre for Natured Inspired Engineering to work on dynamic self-organization: how individual interactions in a discrete phase develop a complex collective behaviour and give birth to time or spatial patterns in macroscopic structures. Taking inspiration from self-assembly mechanisms in nature e.g. fractal growth of bacterial colonies, crystallization or snow, Victor looks into engineering self-adaptive materials that can rearrange their morphology in response to a changing environment. Dynamic structures open the way to advance technology in heath, manufacturing or energy sectors e.g drug and catalytic carriers, self-healing / sensing materials and process intensification.

Publications:

1. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2017. Agglomeration during spray drying: Air-borne clusters or breakage at the walls? under consideration in Chemical Engineering Science.

2. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2016. Agglomeration in counter-current spray drying towers. Part B: Interaction between multiple spraying levels. Powder Technology 301 : 1344-1358.

3. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2016. Agglomeration in counter-current spray drying towers. Part A: Particle growth and the effect of nozzle height. Powder Technology 301 : 1330-1343.

4. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2016. Use of sonic anemometry for the study of turbulent swirling flows in large confined industrial units. Flow Measurement and Instrumentation. 50 : 216-228.

5. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2015. Influence of wall friction on flow regimes and scale up of swirl spray dryers. Chemical Engineering Science 134 : 399-413.

6. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2015. An experimental investigation of the swirling flow in a tall-form counter-current spray dryer. Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 65 : 52-64.

7. Francia V, Martin L, Bayly AE, Simmons MJH. 2015. The role of wall deposition and re-entrainment in swirl spray dryers. AIChE Journal 61, 6 : 1804-1821.