Dr Phil Schwarz is the Research Program Leader - Fluids Process Modelling.
Dr Phil Schwarz: computational fluid dynamicist
Dr Phil Schwarz works on the development and application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of equipment and processes in the minerals extraction and energy industries.
13 April 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011
Dr Phil Schwarz is Research Group Leader for CSIRO's Flow Modelling Centre and Program Leader for Computational and Mathematical Modelling. He is based at CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
He leads a team of engineers and scientists who carry out computational and experimental modelling with the aim of improving the performance of processing equipment in the minerals and energy plant.
Dr Schwarz's current projects cover areas including:
Dr Schwarz leads a team who carry out computational and experimental modelling with the aim of improving the performance of processing equipment in the minerals and energy plants.
multi-phase flows, with projects investigating mixer-settlers and pulsed columns used for solvent extraction, models of electrowinning and electro-refining equipment, and the development of a model of an aluminium reduction cell
modelling theory and techniques, where Dr Schwarz is developing new multi-scale techniques for modelling complex multi-phase systems which will allow more detailed and accurate simulation of the systems
fluidised bed design and optimisation, where he is developing improved techniques for simulation of reacting fluidised bed systems, and applying the techniques to achieve improvement of reactors such as fluidised catalytic cracker units (FCCUs) used in oil refineries.
His other research interests include:
computational fluid dynamics
intensive smelting processes
flocculation in thickeners.
Dr Schwarz has 22 years of experience working for CSIRO on projects developing and applying CFD models in the minerals and energy industries.
Prior to joining CSIRO he worked at ICI Research Department and two universities, Yale, USA, and Monash, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
He formed the first computational fluid dynamics group in Australia working on minerals-related problems in 1985, and has since worked with all of the major mining companies operating in Australia, as well as several overseas operations.
Dr Schwarz was a key member of the team that worked with CRA and Rio Tinto developing the HIsmelt process for direct smelting of iron ore.
This project extended over several years and helped guide the design and optimisation of two scales of pilot plant and a commercial demonstration plant that has recently been commissioned in Kwinana, Western Australia.
He played an important role in the AMIRA P266 project on Improving Thickener Technology.
One of his main contributions was to develop a cutting-edge CFD model of a gravity thickener and apply it to assist Worsley Alumina improve the design of feedwells in their washers and settlers, which allowed them to double the throughput through the vessels.
This work is a compelling demonstration of the power of CFD modelling to improve equipment in the minerals industry.
Dr Schwarz has been awarded a
Bachelor of Science with Honours in Physics from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.
His doctoral thesis described the development of a novel computational technique for modelling high-velocity gas flows involving shocks, and the application of the technique to develop a new theory for the role of interstellar gas dynamics in the formation of galactic spiral arms, which remains the accepted theory to this day.
Dr Schwarz was awarded the University Medal for his undergraduate work.
He was a member of the Improving Thickener Technology team that was awarded CSIRO Medal in 1999 for outstanding research achievements.
He is the author of over 150 technical papers in journals and conferences, 145 technical reports and two patents.
Dr Schwartz also has been awarded the:
John A Brodie Medal award by the Institution of Engineers, Australia, for Achievement in Chemical Engineering, 2006
CSIRO Minerals Inaugural Innovation Award, 1996
J Willard Gibbs Award at Yale University, USA, 1979.
Find out more about Fluids process modelling.