Eldeeb, Radia

Research Topic: 

Optimization of plate heat exchanger design


Story by Francesca Pascual

Now halfway through her Ph.D. program, Radia Eldeeb has been hard at work trying to create a superior plate heat exchanger. In her research, entitled Optimization of plate heat exchanger design, Eldeeb uses PHESim, CFD, and optimization techniques to make a plate heat exchanger that has better performance in terms of heat transfer per unit volume. Eldeeb is also improving PHESim to make it more robust and over 10 times faster.

Eldeeb was not initially planning on applying to CEEE; her husband, Mohamed Beshr, has been a student here since January 2012. However, once Dr. Reinhard Radermacher heard about her previous experience and familiarity with optimization software, he encouraged her to apply. “I’m glad that I applied. This is really the best possible program based on my interests and background,” says Eldeeb.

"CEEE offers students exceptional opportunities"

In addition to CEEE’s alignment with her interests, Eldeeb also believes that the opportunities available to students are exceptional. “The feedback that you get on your research is valuable because it comes from sponsors, so you’re able to learn exactly what industry members are looking for,” Eldeeb remarks. Giving presentations is another aspect that she found beneficial. She has presented at five CEEE consortium meetings, in addition to the International Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Conference at Purdue University. Regardless of whether Eldeeb is presenting or not, attending conferences is advantageous because it gives her the opportunity to learn about the newest technology and topics relevant to her work. “When there are improvements in our field, all engineers want to do is make something even better,” Eldeeb laughs, “We are always looking towards the future.”

There's help if you need it

Eldeeb’s ambitious attitude is another reason CEEE is a good fit. “I like working with a group,” she explained, “especially because this group is so knowledgeable.” She believes that the sense of integrity and community promotes effective learning, specifically from the professors. Though Eldeeb is capable of handling most aspects of her research, she appreciates that there are professors that she can turn to with any questions or concerns. “You know that there is someone who will support you if you need help. You have the confidence to pursue your interests because there is always someone who believes in you,” she commented.

Perhaps Eldeeb’s gratitude for her exceptional teachers stems from her interest in academia. She took a teaching course and worked as a Teacher’s Assistant while she was earning her master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada. “I don’t have a lot of experience teaching, but I make up for it with dedication and passion,” says Eldeeb decisively. She is also interested in working in industry or research, and believes that her knowledge of optimization software and writing codes will make her successful in that field as well. However, Eldeeb’s familial responsibilities divide her attention; her daughter, Amira, was born January 3, 2015. Though she is still committed to her education and work, it is no longer her first concern. “Having a baby changed my priorities. My research is still important, but now all of my plans have to change to accommodate her,” Eldeeb states.

Free time = when baby sleeps

Parenthood comes with many additional responsibilities, but Eldeeb loves spending time with her daughter and watching her grow. “The more time I spend at work, the more special the time I spend with Amira feels,” Eldeeb smiles. Together, they like to read books and play with toys at the library. Amira started talking recently, and Eldeeb is enjoying Amira’s nonsensical, baby language.

When asked what she likes to do in her free time, Eldeeb responded with a laugh; “I do whatever Amira likes. A better question is what do I like to do when she’s asleep.” During her rare and brief time away from her various responsibilities, Eldeeb prefers relaxing activities, like reading history books to learn about the cultures and traditions of other people. She also enjoys outdoor activities, such as tubing, canoeing, and spending days at parks or barbeques. She enjoys camping, but does not get to do it often. “My husband is afraid of sleeping outdoors,” she adds.