Kameswara R. Upadrashta, PhD
St. Paul, MN 55125-0210
Particulate/multiphase systems. Powders. Semisolids. Dispersions - suspensions, emulsions, foams, aerosols. Solutions. Melts. Composites. Nanomaterials. Rheology. Formulation/product development. Process development.
PhD Chem Engng / Particulate Technology, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, 1979
Master’s Chem Engng / Plant Design, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India, 1968
Bachelor’s Chem Engng / Materials, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India, 1966
Professional Society Memberships:
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
Association of Consulting Chemists & Chemical Engineers
Society of Rheology
Process Research, Analysis & Design, Inc. (PRAD Technologies), Saint Paul, MN, President & Principal Consultant, 1990-Present
University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN, Associate Professor, Chem Engng, 1986-91
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, Research Assistant Professor, Metallurgical Engng, 1984-86; Post-Doctoral Fellow, Metallurgical Engng,1982-84
Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai, India, Research Faculty & Senior Scientific Officer, Chemical Engineering, 1972-82
Scope of Activities:
PRAD Technologies specializes in finding solutions to rheological challenges encountered in various particulate/multiphase processes. Services include both routine rheological testing of samples of materials as well as full-fledged R&D projects involving formulation development, product development, and process development.
Appropriate standards are adopted where applicable. Rheological studies provide information such as viscosity, yield stress, time dependence, temperature dependence, stability, normal force, moduli, viscoelasticity, compliance, gel point, scaling factors (fractal dimensions, aspect ratios) of structures (micro-/nano-), glass transition, and more. State-of-the-art imaging techniques are used for surface/interfacial characterization of dispersions (semisolids, suspensions, emulsions, foams). Rheological and other characteristics as appropriate are utilized for new material development, materials selection, performance prediction, competitor evaluation, quality control for ‘finger printing’, consistency monitoring, vendor certification, and trouble shooting.
Optimization techniques used include response surface analysis, artificial neural networks, Simplex self-directing EVOP, and linear/dynamic/geometric programming as applicable.
Numerical and statistical computations using state-of-the-art software. Customized short courses and training seminars in the areas of rheology and particulate technology.
Facilities & Equipment:
Rheological characterizations are carried out using a state-of-the-art rheometer which is equipped with major accessories – different geometries (cone-plate, parallel plate, concentric cylinder) for bulk rheology; bicone and Du Nouy ring for surface and interfacial rheology; peltier plate for temperature control; environmental heating chamber for work with polymer melts.
Testing capabilities include – rate controlled, stress controlled; rotational, oscillatory; steady, transient. Major instruments available (as needed) for other physico-chemical characterizations of materials and surfaces/interfaces include – differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectrometry, Raman spectroscopy, TEM/cryo-TEM, SEM/enviro-SEM, scanning probe microscopy, dynamic light scattering, x-ray powder diffraction, small-angle x-ray scattering, wide-angle x-ray scattering, spectroscopic ellipsometry, surface/interfacial tensiometry, contact-angle goniometry, high-speed video microscopy, among others. Support equipment available for chemical analysis, preparation, processing, storage, and handling of samples include – UV-Vis spectrophotometry, analytical balance, high-shear mixer, ultrasonic processor, shakers, hot plates, magnetic stirrers; centrifuge; turbidimeter; dry heat sterilizer, gravity oven, incubator; refrigerator, freezer; and a variety of labware. Very important, PRAD has full access to the vast digital, laboratory, and library resources of the University of Minnesota.
Engaged in Consulting Practice Since:
Co-inventor, one patent on the hydrocyclone as a froth flotation device. The device has a specific capacity 100-300 times (for a specified efficiency) offering enormous cost savings compared to that of conventional flotation cells for coal/mineral beneficiation, newsprint deinking, treatment/recycling of wastes, remediation of contaminated soils, removal of volatile organic compounds from ground waters, clean-up of oil spills, and other applications.
Co-editor/project leader: “Manual of Chemical Technology” published in 4 volumes (2,400 pp) with funding from the Dep’t. of Education, Gov’t. of India. The first volume dealt with general aspects of the process industry, including – materials of construction, utilities, safety, energy, environment, nuclear materials, etc. The other three volumes covered almost the entire spectrum of chemical processes/products – inorganic, natural organic, and synthetic organic.
Excerpts from different journal reviews – “… should be available in several copies on the library shelves of every technical or research institution and every industrial concern in the country …”; “… classics in the field …”; “… a Herculian task …”.
Co-editor/project leader: Proceedings of the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting, 1981, published in 4 volumes.
Author/coauthor, textbook chapters – chemical technology: materials for electronics industry, natural and synthetic rubbers, refractories, noise in chemical plants.
Author/coauthor, research publications – particulate/multiphase processes: hydrocyclones – newtonian/non-Newtonian flow patterns, turbulence effects, size classification, densemedia separation, froth flotation; electrostatic separations; solid-liquid extraction; gas-solid, solid-solid, and electrochemical reactions; semifluidized bed reactors.
Author/coauthor, research reports for industrial clientele – particulate/multiphase processes; rheology of powders, semisolids, suspensions, emulsions, foams, aerosols, solutions, melts; a rotational viscometer for densemedia; a pipeline viscometer for coal slurries; physical desulfurization of fine coal by densemedia cycloning and in an air-sparged hydrocyclone; sol-gel methods; spray drying; jet-milling; stirred-media milling; centrifugal air-classification; blending/mixing; high-pressure homogenization; coagulation/flocculation; centrifugation; filtration; granulation; compaction; extrusion; frothflotation; foam fractionation; membrane separation; foaming/defoaming; density separations using magnetic-fluids; microencapsulation; emulsion polymerization; biodegradable polymeric nanomaterials for surgical implants; newsprint deinking; solid wastes recycling; pipeline transport of slurries; adsorption; water/wastewater treatment; novel applications of gas cyclones, liquid cyclones, and ejectors.
Invited seminars >40 presented to academic and industrial audiences.
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