Francine Battaglia

Professor

(540) 231-0077
227 Goodwin Hall – 0238
635 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, VA 24061
fbattaglia@vt.edu

Labs

CREST Lab

Education

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 1997
  • M.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of New York at Buffalo, 1992
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of New York at Buffalo, 1991
ROOM

227 Goodwin Hall – 0238 Marker-48

LEARN MORE ABOUT FRANCINE

  • Research

      • Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer
      • Building Energy Utilization and Renewable/Alternative Fuel Production
      • Multiphase, Turbulent and Reacting Flows

    Building Energy Efficiency

    Research related to building energy utilization focuses on using analytical models and/or CFD to study a variety of issues. For example, we have compared energy consumption and incremental building costs for single-family residential homes to determine if homes were built to building code standards and the costs for upgrading homes. Another project was to analyze the installation and energy consumption of ground-coupled heat pumps for vertical and horizontal installations. We have assessed the economics of air-source and ground-source heat pump system operation and compare costs with respect to climate locations across the United States. Finally, CFD has been used to simulate airflow and temperature gradients in buildings that exploit passive heating and cooling.

    Bubble Column Reactors

    Bubble column reactors are used in the chemical industry due to their excellent heat and mass transfer characteristics, simple construction and ease of operation. Applications include chemical processes such as Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, manufacture of fine chemicals, oxidation and alkylation reactions, and fermentation reactions. The bubble column flows are often two-phase, consisting of a gas and liquid, whereby the gas forms bubbles and induces mixing and reactions. We computationally study the hydrodynamics in bubble columns in order to improve and validate the computational modeling so that computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be used as a cost-effective approach for design and scale-up of these reactors. Our experience with CFD of bubble column flows can be used to predict and improve the heat transfer requirements of nuclear reactors where steam generators.

    Fluidized Bed Technology

    Fluidized bed technology is useful for combustion, pyrolysis and gasification of solid fuels such as coal and biomass, the combination of which can provide an alternative fuel for petroleum-based fuels. The current needs are to better understand and predict the heterogeneous reactions and flow dynamics with improved chemical reaction rates and global kinetics. Our research aims at studying and determining the chemical kinetics and reaction mechanisms for coal and coal-biomass mixed fuels and incorporate efficient computational methods to accurately predict and improve these gasification processes in fluidized beds.


  • Professional Affiliations

    • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    • American Physical Society
    • American Society of Engineering Education
    • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (Fellow)
    • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society

  • Publications

  • Professional History

    • 2012-present, Virginia Tech, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Professor
    • 2007-2012, Virginia Tech, Associate Professor
    • 2005-2007, Iowa State University, Associate Professor
    • 2005-2007, Director, Center for Building Energy Research, Iowa State University
    • 2004, Associate Director, Center for Building Energy Research, Iowa State University
    • 1999-2005, Iowa State University, Assistant Professor

  • Awards & Honors

    • ASME Certificate of Appreciation for Service as IMECE Vice Chair, November 2015
    • ASME Certificate of Appreciation for Service as FED Chair, July 2014
    • ASME Certificate of Appreciation for Service as FEDSM Conference Chair, July 2013
    • College of Engineering Certificate of Teaching Excellence, Virginia Tech, 2013
    • ASME Certificate of Appreciation for Service as FEDSM Technical Program Chair, July 2012
    • ASME Certificate of Appreciation for Service as FMTC Chair, July 2010
    • Fellow, American Society of Engineering Education (ASME), 2009
    • ASME Outstanding Student Section Advisor, Region VII, 2004
    • National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1997-1999


  • Professional Leadership

    • May 2012-present, Associate Editor, J. Fluids Eng.-Trans. ASME
    • July 2013-present, Chair, ASME Fluids Engineering Division Executive Committee
    • July 2012-July 2013, Vice Chair, ASME Fluids Engineering Division Executive Committee
    • August 2011-July 2012, Secretary, ASME Fluids Engineering Division Executive Committee
    • January-July 2011, Member, ASME Fluids Engineering Division Executive Committee
    • July 2008-July 2010, Chair, ASME Fluid Mechanics Technical Committee
    • July 2006-July 2008, Vice Chair, ASME Fluid Mechanics Technical Committee