Chemical Engineering student wins the 2016 CN Barton Medal

@JCU Chemical Engineering student wins the 2016 CN Barton Medal

Chemical Engineering student Laura Kuskopf has won the 2016 CN Barton Medal


Laura Kuskopf

Title: Infrared Thermal Image Analysis for the Determination of Bulk Particle Properties in Cascading Particle Curtains

Supervisor – Madoc Sheehan

An abstract of Laura's study:

Drying is very common in process engineering. Drying consumes large quantities of energy and optimising industrial drying would be of great benefit. In industry, a variety of different particles are dried in flighted rotary dryers, where the dominant heat transfer process involves curtains of falling particles. Improving the methods that are used by researchers to obtain the properties of particle curtains, such as temperature and solids volume fraction, are essential for dryer optimisation.  Acquiring accurate temperature data of particle curtains has traditionally proven difficult. Infrared (IR) thermal imaging is a promising technique for characterising surface temperature. However, there is limited research on the application and limitations of this technique when used to determine temperature of particle curtains.

This project involved taking high quality and reproducible IR and visible images of hot falling particle curtains. Focus was placed on comparing traditional temperature measurement techniques with the thermal images. It was found that the solids volume fraction and thermal properties such as particle emissivity were found to be critical in obtaining confidence in the measured IR temperature. Novel image analysis techniques were developed in this thesis to better understand IR thermography when applied to hot particle curtains.


Background to CN Barton:

Sir Charlie Barton (1907-1987) was born in Bowen in 1907 and was an eminent civil engineer in Queensland.

Prior to 1939, Barton was an active member of the military and went overseas as Second in Command of the 2/15th Infantry Battalion AIF. He was captured near Tobruk in 1941 and spent the remainder of the war as a POW in Germany. His incarceration gave him time to tutor potential civil engineers and to assist in escape attempts.

After 1945 he returned to Mackay and continued with his practice and with his involvement with the CMF. He became Commanding Officer of 42nd Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment and Colonel of 3rd Cadet Brigade.

In 1963 he was invited by the then Minister of Main Roads, Ernie Evans, to become Commissioner of Main Roads and to re-organise both the Department and the Queensland road system. He decentralised the operations of the Department and made the local District Engineers very influential in their own areas.

In 1968 he was appointed Co-coordinator General of Works, the senior engineering appointment in the Queensland Public Service. He was involved in the establishment of JCU and in initiating research into the effects of wind on structures after cyclone Tracy in Darwin in 1974. After retirement he continued to serve Queensland as member of the Brisbane Port Authority. He died in March 1987 in Auchenflower, Brisbane.

The bridge over the Ross River near JCU is named after him.