Bangerth, Stefan

Research Topic: 

Mass Transfer Applications of Microchannels - Clog-free Microchannel Design for Gas Separation/Purification


Story by Francesca Pascual

Stefan Bangerth has spent the last two years hard at work on his thesis, Mass Transfer Applications of Microchannels - Clog-free Microchannel Design for Gas Separation/Purification, studying how mass and heat exchangers can reach optimal performance in the field. “I am trying to create a device that could clean blockage out of the tubes, which would make microscale mass exchangers more compatible. In this way, I can promote clean conditions in the field,” Bangerth says. Currently, he is focusing on the performance of gas to liquid mass exchangers. For these processes, he is designing the whole system and multi-phase distribution, as well as testing the cleaning mechanism.   He plans on graduating in May, 2017.

Enjoys creativity and teamwork

After graduating, Bangerth would like to continue working in process industries or mass heat transfer applications. He is most interested in working in an industry setting. The appeal of working with a third party that shares his interests was part of what prompted him to join CEEE. “The support and encouragement of companies really benefits the projects,” Bangerth says decidedly. He also believes the close community of professors and students boosts creativity and teamwork, a necessary skill in industry work. Bangerth is interested in returning to Germany once he has earned his Ph.D., but also considers staying in the U.S. a good option.

Bangerth spent six months at the University of Maryland in 2012 for an exchange student internship, which sparked his interest in returning for his Ph.D. “I liked the school and the area, and I also met my girlfriend during my internship,” he says with a smile. The decision to leave his home in Karlsruhe, Germany paid off; the couple became engaged in the fall of 2015.

Making the most of his time in Maryland

In addition to his work on mass heat transfer applications, Bangerth has been involved in a number of projects at the university. “I learned about energy auditing and carbon footprint reduction by working with University of Maryland facilities. It was interesting to get exposure to something outside of my field,” he states. Bangerth also worked as a teacher’s assistant for a class that focused on building design. The class used data from real buildings to conduct a project, giving him experience with real-world building designs. Furthermore, Bangerth is serving as an ASHRAE officer this year. “I am the public relations officer, so I’ll be organizing events, contacting speakers, and reaching out to undergraduate students,” he says.

In his free time, Bangerth likes to spend his time relaxing in Hyattsville with his fiancé. Occasionally, he goes to concerts, on hikes, or travels on vacation.  He frequently bikes from his home in Hyattsville, which is much closer than his previous place in Washington, DC.  “Sometimes I used to bike the 11 miles from Dupont Circle to the University,” he laughs, “I just don’t have any time for the gym.”

Luckily, he does have time to indulge in the odd camel ride.