Early Stage Researchers

The so-called Early Stage Researchers are the PhD students active in Caliper and should be considered the main source of pride of the network.  As can be seen below, the students hail from all over the world and have various academic backgrounds, which will make their collaboration a unique enterprise. 

ESR 1 – Wageningen University and Research

Chandan Shakya

Hi I’m Chandan Shakya. I am from Nepal. I come from a Civil engineering background. I did my Bachelor’s from Institute on Engineering, Pulchowk and my Masters from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. I am currently in Wageningen University studying the mechanics of soft particles under cyclic compression and shear in the group of Joshua Dijksman.


Lars Kool

I’m Lars Kool, a Dutch PhD student in the Physics and Mechanics of Heterogenenous Media (PMMH) Lab of ESPCI in Paris, France, under supervision of Anke Lindner. I obtained my BSc degree in Molecular Life Sciences from Wageningen University and Research (Wageningen, The Netherlands), with a minor in Nanotechnology. After that, I stayed at Wageningen University for a Master’s degree in Molecular Life Sciences, with a specialization in Physical Chemistry, which I obtained Cum Laude in November 2019. During my MSc, I performed my MSc Thesis at the Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter group under supervision of Joshua Dijksman on rheology of yield stress fluids. I also did an internship at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC, USA) under supervision of Karen Daniels, on memory in force chain networks of granular materials.

During my PhD, I will focus on the mechanics of dense suspensions of deformable particles using microfluidics and optical microscopy, where I will be looking at the influence of the softness of individual particles on the behavior of the bulk material. 

ESR 3 – TU Graz

Francisco Goio

I am Francisco Goio, I studied Physiscs at the University of Rome La Sapienza and during my master’s thesis I addressed the characterization of the critical behavior of a coarse grained model of hydrogel. 

Currently I am enrolled as PhD student at Graz University of Technology with Prof Stefan Radl. My research aims to investigate and understand the physical mechanisms that contribute to the mechanics of strongly deformable grains. I want to characterize how deformability affects the flowing properties of granular materials and discriminate under which conditions it is necessary to take into account fully resolved grain deformation models in their description. As one of the numerical experts in CALIPER ITN I will address it by means of extensive numerical simulations, using LIGGGHTS® for modelling the particles and OpenFOAM® for the fluid flow.

ESR 4 – DCS Computing

Michael Mascara

I am Michael Mascara, I am from Italy, where I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Polytechnic of Milan. After my graduation, I enrolled in the Master’s course in Mechanical Engineering at University of Twente, with specialization in Thermal and Fluid Engineering
using numerical tools.

I am currently a researcher at DCS Computing GmbH in Linz, Austria, where my role is to apply Lagrangian methods to solve flows of granular materials, especially pastes with high cohesive forces. The work is done under supervision of Arno Mayrhofer and Christoff Kloss.

The goal is to implement a force model into the DEM open-source software LIGGGHTS such that the cohesive forces acting at the interface of fluid and solid particles are correctly modeled and the results can be compared with experimental values obtained by the fellows researcher within the
CALIPER project. In such way it is ultimately possible to calibrate future simulations and experiments to achieve a better understanding and predict the physical behavior of high cohesive granular flows.


Nazanin Ghods

Country of Origin: Iran
Educational background:

Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering, 2011-2015, University of Tehran Master of Science, Chemical Engineering, Process Design, 2015-2018, University of Tehran (Thesis: “CFD-DEM modeling of particles’ attrition in fluidized beds”

Current Location: Institute of Process and Particle Technology, Technology University of Graz, Austria
PhD student supervised by Prof. Stefan Radl
Project title: DEM modeling of deformable grains for industrial relevant processing steps

ESR 6 – University of Navarra

Tivadar Pongó

My name is Tivadar and I am a physicist. I hold a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. In my master thesis, I investigated the silo discharge of granular materials experimentally and numerically as well. Currently, I am doing my Ph.D. studies at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. My research focuses on improving the understanding of rapid granular flows in various setups and is supervised by dr. Raul Cruz

Country of origin: Hungary

Educational background: Physics Bsc and Msc degree at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, master thesis topic was granular silo outflows
Current location: Pamplona, Spain – University of Navarra

ESR 7 – University of Twente

Muhammad Ahmed Hanif

Nationality: Pakistan

Educational Qualification: (BSc Chemical Engineering from COMSATS University, Pakistan, MSc Chemical and Energy Engineering from Otto von Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany, currently PhD student in Physics of Fluids Group, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherland)

Current location: Enschede, Netherland

Introduction: I joined Physics of Fluids group in January 2020. I am working under the supervision of Professor Dr. Devaraj van de Meer. I am experimentalist and my research area is ‘Dynamical behaviour of non-spherical particles in rapid flow’. 

ESR 8 – Université Grenoble Alpes

Gustavo Pinzon

My name is Gustavo Pinzón, and I come from Colombia. I did my undergrad studies in Civil and Mechanical Engineering, and my master studies in Geotechnical Engineering at Universidad de los Andes, in Colombia. I am doing my PhD at Université Grenoble Alpes under the supervision of Edward Andò, Alessandro Tenganttini and Cino Viggiani. My main focus of research is to understand the effect of grain shape and grain roughness on the mechanical response of granular material using X-ray tomography.

ESR 9 – Wigner Institute

Bo Fan

I am Bo FAN from China. Currently, I am a PhD student in Wigner Research Center for Physics under the direction of Dr.TAMÁS BÖRZSÖNYI. I obtained my MSc in computational mechanics from Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France in 2019 and my B.Eng in Energy and Power Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China in 2017.

ESR 10 – DCS Computing

Zorica Ristić

I am Zorica Ristic, from Bosnia and Herzegovina. I’ve finished Theoretical Physics (Bachelor and Master studies) in Belgrade, Serbia. Before this PhD I started PhD studies in the field of Quantum information and Computation at the Institute of physics Belgrade. Then I was investigating topology of state spaces of Majorana-like anyonic particles and now I’m dealing with investigation of possibilities for reduction of computational costs in industrial processes simulations. This work will be done under supervision of Arno Mayrhofer and Christoff Kloss.

ESR 11 – Université Grenoble Alpes

Ilija Vego

I come from Italy, where I completed my undergrad and master studies in Civil Engineering at the University of Padova.

Now I am a PhD at the Laboratoire 3SR (Université Grenoble-Alpes) under the supervision of Alessandro Tengattini, Edward Andò and Cino Viggiani.
The aim of this work is to image hydromechanics of granular media by means of x-ray and neutron tomography.

ESR 12 – Otto von Guericke University

Jing Wang

I’m Jing Wang (王婧). I’m from China. I was studied and worked in Chinese Academy Science, Institute of Process Engineering. Previously, I studied on chemical engineering and my research was focus on criterion on characterizing non-equilibrium behavior in gas-solid heterogeneous flow.

Currently I am a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ralf Stannarius. The focus during this research journey is on flowing dynamics of soft matter like hydrogel particles in some experimental setup such as silo discharge and shear cell.

ESR 13 – Université de Technologie de Compiègne

Maheandar Manokaran

I am Maheandar Manokaran from India and I will start my Ph.D. in UT Compiegne, France. I completed my Masters in Chemical and Energy Engineering in Otto Von Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany. I completed my Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering in Anna University, India. I had a year of experience in HHP Berlin (Ingenieur für Brandschutz GmbH), Germany as Research Associate. I had a good experience in thermo mechanical, numerical simulation, Ansys, OpenFOAM, FDS, MATLAB, Python and GIT.

My work will focus on the study of the release of fine particles from surface coatings and characterization at particle suspension level. And also, a characterization database of those allowing for calibration and validation of simulation models. This work will done under supervision of Martin Morgeneyer.

ESR 14 – Wageningen University and Research

Zohreh Farmani

My name is Zohreh Farmani, come from Iran, and completed my BSc of petroleum engineering at the Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran in August 2015 and MSc degree of Petroleum engineering at Persian Gulf University, Iran in November 2018.

My MSc thesis was concerned with multi-phase flow modeling and enhanced oil recovery experiments using core flood and sand pack setups, in which I proposed a new smart technique to estimate the relative permeability of gas/oil systems. I am currently doing research as a PhD student in Wageningen University and Research, and working on probing the role of contact cohesion on the mechanics of granular materials.