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Vasilios Halkias - Americas Student Award Winner

"Tubular Flow Reactor App" Vasilios Halkias from New Jersey Institute of Technology

Americas Student Award


In this series, we've asked some of the winners from the 2020 NAFEMS Student Awards to give us their thoughts on what winning the award means to them, and what they are looking forward to as they launch their careers in engineering analysis and simulation


Student AwardI was so ecstatic when I got the news I won. I was on my way home from work when I received congratulatory emails from NAFEMS,, my research professor Dr. Roman Voronov and the rest of the faculty in the chemical engineering department at NJIT. I couldn’t wait to go tell my friends and family. They were just as surprised as I was. This was such an uplifting experience that made all the hard work and long hours my professor and I put into creating the tubular flow reactor simulation that much more worth it.

With the pandemic forcing students into fully online classrooms, I feel that the interactive visual applications my professor, my fellow students, and I created would be incredibly useful for effective learning.There are a total of 15 applications, some examples being my tubular flow reactor, also known as plug flow tube reactor, a 3D printer nozzle, reaction yield enhancement via baffles in 2D flow, impeller optimization in a stirred tank reactor, and dispersion from a toxic stack. I personally believe they are incredibly effective learning tools for understanding complex chemical engineering concepts such as fluid flow, heat transfer, mass transfer, and reaction kinetics. These aids can be excellent tools for times where remote learning has become the norm. I definitely recommend checking them out at the following link:

Vasilios Halkias

Check them out, they won’t cost you a dime!

In terms of my career so far, I was working in the fragrance industry for a few months after graduating with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, but I knew my calling was elsewhere. A few months after receiving the award, I was able to start working as an associate process engineer at Hovione, an active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer. I’m still being trained, but I’ve learned a lot on the job and am looking forward in continuing to sharpen my skillset with them.

Now for future projects. I plan on expanding my coding abilities and creating videos related to math and physics to try to inspire people to pursue their interests in STEM. I feel that creating robust resources that others can use for free is a great way to make an impact on future youth. I dream to work hard and to excel in my field as a process engineer, as well as to be a proponent of developing more effective learning for people of any socioeconomic background.

For those of you who are interested in future simulation competitions in NAFEMS, I recommend reaching out to professors at your university that do research in a field you are interested in. See if they have experience with creating simulations and if they are willing to let you join their efforts. From there, make sure to work with focus and diligence, trying to create the best product you can. A quote by Vince Lombardi sums up what I’m saying here very well. “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” You’d be surprised what you can create with confidence and focus.

Special thanks go out to my professors who helped advise my project, specifically Dr. Roman Voronov, Dr. Irina Molodetsky, and Dr. Robert Barat, Computer Aids for Chemical Engineering (CACHE) for funding on the project, along with NAFEMS and for hosting this competition.


More information on the Americas Student Award