The Michigan Engineer News Center

Jim Wilkes’ 5th edition published

This fall, Prentice Hall published "Fluid Mechanics for Chemical Engineers: Microfluidics, CFD, and COMSOL Multiphysics 5," 5th Edition.| Short Read
EnlargeJames Wilkes
IMAGE:  James O. Wilkes, Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering

Eighty-five-year-old retired faculty member Jim Wilkes has just had his latest 804-page book published by Prentice Hall.  It is Fluid Mechanics for Chemical Engineers, with the subtitle Microfluidics, CFD, and COMSOL Multiphysics 5, 5th Edition. It is in two parts. 

Part I consists of a fairly traditional approach, suitable for an undergraduate course, and includes the elements of many processes such as flow in packed beds, fluidization, filtration, flooding of bubble-cap columns, and performance of cyclones.   

Part II depends more on the PDEs (partial differential equations) of fluid mechanics, and contains a wide spectrum of topics, including both laminar and turbulent flows; bubbles; two-phase flow and fluidized beds; non-Newtonian flows; and microfluidics.   There are many detailed examples that demonstrate how to solve problems by using the very latest version of COMSOL Multiphysics, a very powerful and increasingly popular program for solving the coupled systems of PDEs that pervade much of science and engineering.   

The book abounds with examples and end-of-chapter problems, and the typography and clarity of the illustrations are excellent.   Although Jim was the major author, he greatly appreciates the help of four other contributors: Stacy Birmingham, Chi-Yang Cheng, Kevin Ellwood, and Brian Kirby.

James Wilkes
The Michigan Micro Mote next to a grain of rice

An even smaller world’s smallest ‘computer’

The latest from IBM and now the University of Michigan is redefining what counts as a computer at the microscale. | Short Read