Ryan Anderson, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering (2012) University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering and B.A. in History (2007) Bucknell University,Lewisburg, PA, USA
  • Research Associate Post-doctorate at City College of New York, New York, NY, USA
  • Affiliate Professor, Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, University of British Columbia, 2020-Present.


ECHM 307: Chem Engin Thermodynamics I

ECHM 321: Chemical Engineering Fluid Mechanics

ECHM 411 & 412: Senior Design I & II

ECHM 443: Unit Operations Lab

HONR 201: Texts and Critics

ECHM 490: Undergraduate Research

Engineering Education Research Efforts

Research Interests

My research is in heat transfer and fluid flow for applications in clean energy. These interests include fuel cells, flow in porous media, multiphase flow, reacting systems, and uses of various heat transfer fluids. More information is given below on PEM fuel cell and heat transfer projects.

Heat Transfer

Heat transfer applications are found in many engineering disciplines. My work has focused on heat transfer in several energy related fields, including:

  1. Coupled heat transfer/fluid flow in packed beds
  2. Supercritical and transcritical phenomena
  3. Phase change materials

Goals of these projects include improved safety, cheaper materials with higher energy densities, model development, and design equations. I welcome collaboration on new fluids, systems, or designs.

Transcritical CO2 Ore Processing

It takes a amount of energy to fracture rock, which is a needed step in mining before downstream processing to recovery valuable materials. This work focuses on a new way to fracture rock - tCO2 processing - which cycles CO2 between super- and sub-critical states to fracture rock. Working with Industry partner Rockburst Technologies and other Universities, we focus on ways to optimize this process to save energy.

PEM Fuel Cells

PEM fuel cells have received extensive interest due to high energy efficiency, low operating temperature, and low to zero emissions during operation.  Better engineering design in PEM fuel cells with considerations for water management could lead to significant performance improvements and cost reductions. Examples of my work include:

  1. Visualizing and understanding water in individual cell components
  2. Using pressure drop as a diagnostic parameter
  3. CFD models

Engineering Education

In an effort to make engineering more effective and equitable, I have worked on a range of projects including work to bring societal topics into engineering classrooms, peer mentoring, and modular experiments in the classroom.

Recent Publications

Google Scholar Page

M.E. Skuntz, R. Elander, M.M.S. Al-Azawii, P. Bueno, R. Anderson, System efficiency of packed bed TES with radial flow vs. axial flow – influence of aspect ratio, Journal of Energy Storage, 72 (2023) 108463. Open Access.

M.S. Al-Azawii, S. F.H. Alhamdi, S. Braun, J-F Hoffmann, N. Calvet, R. Anderson, Thermocline in packed bed thermal energy storage during charge-discharge cycle using recycled ceramic materials- commercial scale designs at high temperature, Journal of Energy Storage, 64 (2023) 107209. Article Link..

Hesse, P. Asetre, R. Anderson, C. Edwards, C. Lee, O. Malpica, B. Klein, Experimental demonstration of comminution with transcritical carbon dioxide cycles, Powder Technology, 407 (2022) 117615. Article Link.

M. M.S. Al-Azawii, S. F.H. Alhamdi, S. Braun, J. Francois, N. Calvet, R. Anderson, Experimental study on packed-bed thermal energy storage using recycled ceramic as filler materials, Journal of Energy Storage, 44 (2021) 103375. Article Link.

M.E. Skuntz, J.D. Seymour, R. Anderson, Observation of heat transfer due to variable thermophysical properties of sub-, near- and super- critical fluids in porous media by magnetic resonance imaging, International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 128 (2021) 105635. Article Link.

Y. Zhang, R. Anderson, N. Zhu, L. Zhang, Visualizing water desaturation of the frozen gas diffusion layers along flow field segmentation via synchrotron x-ray radiography, Moving toward Commercialization of Fuel Cell Technologies, Frontiers in Energy Research, 9 (2021) 1-10. Article Link.

Y. Zhang, V. Hirpara, V. Patel, C. Li, R. Anderson, N. Zhu, L. Zhang, Imaging of desaturation of the frozen gas diffusion layers by synchrotron x-ray radiography, Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, 46(34) (2021) 17897. Article Link.

M. Fan, F. Duan, T. Wang, M. Kang, B. Zeng, J. Xu, R. Anderson, W. Du, L. Zhang, Effect of pore shape and spacing on water droplet dynamics in flow channels of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, Energies, 14(5) (2021) 1250. Link to open access.

M.E. Skuntz, B.G. Pelkie, S.L. Codd, R. Anderson, J.D. Seymour, MR velocimetry of pattern formation in Rayleigh-Bénard convection in a low aspect ratio cylinder, International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, 118 (2020) 104869. Article Link.

Mohammad M.S. Al-Azawii, D. Jacobsen, P. Bueno, R. Anderson, Experimental study of thermal behavior during charging in a thermal energy storage packed bed using radial pipe injection, Applied Thermal Engineering, 180 (2020), 115804-115815. Article Link.

Viral Hirpara, Virat Patel, Yuzhou Zhang, Ryan Anderson, Ning Zhu, Lifeng Zhang, Investigating the effect of operating temperature on droplet dynamics for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, I. J. Hydrogen Energy, 45 (2020) 14145-14155. Article Link.

V. Patel, L. Battrell, R. Anderson, N. Zhu, L. Zhang, Investigating effect of different gas diffusion layers on water droplet characteristics for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, I.J. Hydrogen Energy 44 (2019) 18340-18350.Article Link.

M.M.S. Al-Azawii, C. Theade, P. Bueno, R. Anderson, Experimental study of layered thermal energy storage in an air-alumina packed bed using axial pipe injections, Applied Energy 249 (2019) 409-422.  Article Link.

L. Battrell, V. Patel, N. Zhu, L. Zhang, R. Anderson, Imaging of the desaturation of gas diffusion layers by synchrotron computed tomography, Journal of Power Sources 416 (2019) 155-162. Article Link.

M.E. Skuntz, D. Perera, J.E. Maneval, J.D. Seymour, R. Anderson, Melt-front propagation and velocity profiles in packed beds of phase-change materials measured by magnetic resonance imaging, Chemical Engineering Science 190 (2018) 164-172. Article Link.

L. Battrell, N. Zhu, L. Zhang, R. Anderson, Transient, spatially resolved de-saturation of gas diffusion layers measured via synchrotron visualization, I. J. Hydrogen Energy 43 (2018) 11234-11243. Article Link.

M.M.S. Al-Azawii, C. Theade, M. Danczyk, E. Johnson, R. Anderson, Experimental study on the cyclic behavior of thermal energy storage in an air-alumina packed bed, Journal of Energy Storage, 18C (2018) 239-249. Article Link.

P. Rahimian, L. Battrell, R. Anderson, E. Johnson, N. Zhu, L. Zhang, Investigation of time dependent water droplet dynamics on porous fuel cell material via synchrotron based x-ray imaging technique, Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, 97 (2018) 237-245. Article Link.

E. Johnson, L. Bates, A. Dower, P.C. Bueno, R. Anderson, Thermal energy storage with supercritical carbon dioxide in a packed bed of alumina: modeling charge-discharge cycles, The Journal of Supercritical Fluids, 137 (2018) 57-65. Article Link.

L. Battrell, A. Trunkle, E. Eggleton, L. Zhang, R. Anderson, Quantifying cathode water transport via anode relative humidity measurements in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, Energies, 10(8) (2017), 1222. Link to Open Access.

R. Anderson, L. Bates, E. Johnson, J.F. Morris, Packed bed thermal energy storage: A simplified experimentally validated model, J. Energy Storage 4 (2015) 14-23. Link to Open Access.

F. I. Valentin, R. Anderson, M. Kawaji, Experimental investigation of convection heat transfer in high pressure and high temperature gas flows, Journal of Heat Transfer 139 (2017) 091704-1. Article Link.

P. Rahimian, R. Anderson, L. Zhang, Predictions of flow regimes in proton exchange membrane fuel cells: An analytical approach, I. J. Hydrogen Energy 42 (2017) 4679-4689. Article Link.

F. I. Valentín, N. Artoun, R. Anderson, M. Kawaji, D.M. McEligot, Study of convection heat transfer in a very high temperature reactor flow channel: numerical and experimental results, Nuclear Technology 196 (2016) 661-673. Article Link.

R. Anderson, E. Eggleton, L. Zhang, Development of two-phase flow regime specific pressure drop models for proton exchange membrane fuel cells, I. J. Hydrogen Energy 40 (2015) 1173–1185. Article Link.

R. Anderson, S. Shiri, H. Bindra, J. Morris, Experimental results and modeling of energy storage and recovery in a packed bed of alumina particles, Applied Energy 119 (2014) 521-529. Article Link.


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