UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Lawrence Edomwonyi-Otu

Mr Lawrence Edomwonyi-Otu is an energetic, dedicated and performance driven Chemical Engineering Professional. He has a strong analytical, technical, leadership, teaching, research, adaptation and relationship building skills and has worked in multicultural/multilingual environments. He worked in the private sector after his graduation before returning for his post-graduate studies at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, and currently an academic staff-in-training of the University. He joined the Chemical Engineering Department of UCL as a PhD student in 2011 with a research focus on drag reduction in oil-water flows and he is a member of the multiphase flow research group. Mr Lawrence has published 3 journals and 3 conference manuscripts as well as several seminar presentations from his current research.

Research project

Title: Drag reduction in oil-water flows

 The increasing global demand for energy means that energy sources must be transferred from areas of production to regions of consumption. Crude oil and its derivatives which are still a main source of energy are in many cases transported over long distances and mostly in pipes of varying sizes and inclinations.  Also, the maturing nature of oil wells increases the amount of water extracted with water often added to the down-hole to enhance production. Hence, the flow of crude oil is often in mixtures with water, and results in different flow patterns depending on pipe size and fluid properties and flow rates. Flows of aqueous-organic two-phase mixtures are also very common in the process industries. The addition of small amounts of some polymeric materials to fluid flows has been known to change the flow patterns in pipes and reduce the pressure drop and associated pumping requirements. An understanding of these changes and the underlying mechanism is necessary for design optimization and operational flexibility.

This investigation aims to provide experimental data to enable a modification of predictive tools for oil-water flows in pipes. It also focuses on understanding the effect of polymeric additives on the interfacial wave characteristics as well as the velocity profiles and turbulence properties of oil-water flows. These changes have not been reported before in open literature and it is hoped that these results will enhance the understanding of the mechanism behind these changes.  


B.Eng in Chemical Engineering, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, 1999
MSc in Chemical Engineering, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, 2008
PhD in Chemical Engineering, University College London (UCL), 2011 till date