Powder & Solids

K-State Bulk Solids Innovation Center Hires Research Director

By Chemical Processing Staff

Dec 01, 2015

Following an international search, John Lawrence joins the Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center as its first research director. Lawrence, a doctorate-level agricultural engineer who specializes in food processing, specifically grain storage management, is the facility's first hire since opening this summer.

The Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center is a research, testing and educational facility dedicated to the science and understanding of bulk solids materials handling. The center is reportedly the only one of its kind in North America, housing six laboratories for university and industry-sponsored research; training, conference and lecture rooms; a material properties test lab and a full-scale bulk solids test bay.

As a key researcher, Lawrence works to solve the movement challenges bulk solids have while passing through the hoppers, or containers, in which they are stored. Particles can often become densified and stagnant in various spots in the hopper, preventing all the material from flowing smoothly. Lawrence's research also will focus on finding and solving problems within particle disintegration and segregation in the pipeline during pneumatic conveying. Lawrence is also developing beginner and advanced short courses in bulk solids for technicians and engineers in the industry. He manages the day-to-day activities of the facility and will be outlining the center's strategic vision for the next three to five years.

Lawrence, a native of Nagercoil, India, began his position with the bulk solids innovation center in October. He formerly served as the lead researcher and director at IntelliFarms, a grain management company in Missouri. He has a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering and a master's degree in agricultural processing from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India. He earned a doctorate in agricultural and biological engineering from Purdue University. Lawrence did postdoctoral research at the University of Arkansas and at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

For more information, visit: www.k-state.edu