Postdoctoral Fellowship in CFD Modelling and Simulation
Mesoscopic Fluid Dynamics Modelling and Simulation of Espresso Coffee Extraction
Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in mesoscopic modelling of espresso coffee extraction at the CFD group (BCAM) in collaboration with the Illycaffè.
The percolation of hot water through ground coffee represents a complex thermo-fluid dynamics process where particulates and aromatics migrate from the grains into the brew. From a coffee cup quality point of view it is necessary to model accurately the mass transfer occurring during the process, focusing on the solubilization of key odorant and taste-wise compounds from the roasted coffee phase. In fact, distinct compound kinetics generally lead to an altered balance in the final cup depending on extraction times, ground coffee granulometry, applied pressures and temperatures resulting, finally, in a highly variable sensorial experience.
The goal of this project is to use and further develop an existing simulation framework (based on Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics and Dissipative Particle Dynamics techniques) to control and engineer coffee flavors by 'virtually' monitoring the balance of specific key-odorant or taste-actives compounds in the beverage under unexplored flow processing conditions.
The postdoctoral candidate will work under the supervision of Ikerbasque Prof. Marco Ellero (CFD group, BCAM) on the developments and use of mesoscopic particle-simulation methods to better understand the mesoscopic extraction kinetics. He/she will also interact closely, both with the Illycaffè R&D Department in Trieste, Italy (Dr. Luciano Navarini), and with experimental groups at the College of Engineering (Swansea University UK) where X-ray micro-CT techniques will be used to morphologically characterize the ground coffee microstructure.