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May 14, 2019: "Cavitation: A Problem or an Opportunity?"

    May 14, 2019
    11:00 a.m.
    655 McBryde Hall
    Dr. Martin Petkovsek, University of Ljubljana
    Faculty Host: Dr. Olivier Coutier-Delgosha


Abstract: When starting my scientific career the cavitation phenomena was known to me only as a serious threat to turbine machinery - water turbines, water pumps or ship propellers. First experimental attempts were to investigate insights of cavitation erosion and its mechanisms. The mechanisms are still not fully understood and for know we only have hypothesis on what we think is the reason for cavitation erosion to form. Through my PhD thesis I learned that cavitation can forms in any kind of liquid and that by space launcher engines, which use liquid propellant (LH2 and LOx), cavitation is causing serious challenges to engineers designing them. To make the challenge even harder, by cryogenic liquids additional phenomenon starts to kick in, the so-called thermodynamic effect, which is usually neglected by studying cavitation in cold water. Not always cavitation is considered as a negative physical phenomenon, but is often used as a tool in various processes, i.e. surface cleaning, water treatment, in medicine etc. In many cases cavitation works well or even better than conventional methods, but often the mechanisms are not known. In order to improve any kind of process the mechanisms must be known and well understood. My latest research is based on studying scale effects in various liquids with emphasis on the quality of the liquid.

Bio: Martin Petkovšek is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). He was born in 1987 in Ljubljana and received his MSc in Mechanical Engineering in 2011 at University of Ljubljana. He continued his doctoral study at University of Ljubljana and successfully defend his PhD thesis with tittle Cavitation in thermosensible liquids in 2016. In 2011 he also joined the Laboratory of Water and Turbine Machinery at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Ljubljana as a researcher. In 2018 he was promoted as an Assistant Professor. In general he works in the field of fluid mechanics, more specific in filed of cavitation. He is specialized in experimental research of cavitation erosion, thermodynamic effects and cavitation exploitation for water treatment. His most recent research goes in direction of exploring scale effects in various liquids and water qualities. His latest applied project proposal is considering the idea of using cavitation for treating microplastic on the effluents at wastewater treatment plants.