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Politecnico di Milano

Particle-Laden Flows: Theory and Engineering Applications

Solid particles carried along in a fluid flow: physical fundamentals, measurement techniques, and modelling frameworks in an application-oriented view.

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Course description

The MOOC, developed in the context of a collaborative research project, will provide an application-oriented yet theoretically rigorous overview of particle-laden flows, i.e., two-phase flows of solid particles within a carrier fluid (liquid or gas). These flows are encountered in many engineering fields, including but not limited to the mining industry, the oil & gas industry, and the hydraulic engineering.

Students attending this course will learn how particle-laden flows can be characterized from a physical and engineering point of view, and they will be able to decide the most appropriate approach for handling these flows at the design level, including different techniques for the numerical simulation as well as the physical testing in laboratory setups. After discussing these aspects in a general framework, special attention will be paid to two phenomena of considerable industrial impact, namely, the liquid-solid transport in pipelines and the damage produced by the travelling solids on pipeline components and hydraulic equipment.

As an appendix to the course, a number of case studies will highlight the importance of particle-laden flows in academic research and engineering practice. As well as by the partners of the project, these case studies have been gratefully provided by Francisco Souza & Carlos Antonio Ribeiro Duarte (Federal University of Uberlândia, Brazil), François Avellan & Sebastián Leguizamón (EPFL-LMH, Switzerland), Magdalena Walczak & Javiera Aguirre (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile), Giacomo Nutricato & Simone Gorini (ENI S.p.A., Italy), Harry Claydon & Mike Malin (CHAM – Concentration Heat and Momentum, UK), Thomas Senfter (MCI – The Entrepreneurial School, Austria).

You can access the course free of charge and completely online.

financed within the “T.I.M.E. Call of Projects 2018-2019”


The MOOC project was financed within the “T.I.M.E. Call of Projects 2018-2019”. Coordinator of the project is PoliMI - DICA (Gianandrea Vittorio Messa, contact person and course coordinator; and Stefano Malavasi), and the other partners are Czech Technical University in Prague (Vaclav Matoušek), University of Campinas (José Gilberto Dalfré Filho), Xi’an Jiaotong University (Xu Donghai), and Xi’an Shiyou University (Zhiguo Wang).

Estimated effort

The MOOC is made up of five weeks; the estimated effort is about 5 hours/week to learn the basic concepts. However, in order to fully achieve the learning outcomes, at least further 10 hours per week of individual study is also recommended, yielding a total estimated effort of about 15 hours per week.


The MOOC was developed for M.Sc. undergraduates and post-graduate engineers. The following prerequisites are recommended: material point mechanics, continuum mechanics, calculus, and basic fluid mechanics.

Quizzes and scores

The course is organized into different weeks and modules. At the end of each week, you will find an evaluated quiz to check your understanding. The final grade for the course will be calculated based on your performance in the weekly quizzes.

Certificate of Accomplishment

The Certificate of Accomplishment will be released to anyone who successfully completes the course by answering correctly to at least 60% of the questions by the end of the edition. You will be able to download the Certificate of Accomplishment directly on the website.

Once you have successfully passed the course, you can request the Certificate of Accomplishment without waiting for the end of the edition.

The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree.


For further information, see FAQ page.

Course Faculty

Gianandrea Vittorio Messa

Gianandrea Vittorio Messa

Course coordinator. Gianandrea Vittorio Messa was born in Monza (Milano, Italy) on 6th July 1984. He received the Master Degree cum laude in Civil Engineering and the PhD cum laude in Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in 2009 and 2013, respectively. Since 2015, he is Assistant Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the same university. He is member of the research group “Fluid Lab”, led by Prof. Stefano Malavasi. His research interests mainly concern the numerical and physical modelling of particle-laden and related phenomena, such as hydrotransport processes and impact wear of materials. As a side activity, he also dealt with the topics of energy dissipation and cavitation in hydraulic devices.

Vaclav Matoušek

Vaclav Matoušek

Václav Matoušek was born in Teplice, Czechoslovakia, in August 14, 1963. He received the Master Degree in Civil Engineering from the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague in 1986 and the PhD cum laude in Mechanical (Dredging) Engineering from the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, in 1997. From 2010, he is Full Professor of Water Engineering and Water Management at Faculty of Civil Engineering of CTU in Prague. Currently, he is Deputy Head of Dept. of Hydraulics and Hydrology at CTU and Senior Research Fellow with the Institute of Hydrodynamics, Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic. His research focuses primarily on two-phase flows with a special attention to pipeline transport of slurries, slurry pumping, rheology of mixtures, flow of rheologically active slurries, sediment transport in open channels and river morphology.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This MOOC might be used and shared in compliance with the conditions of the license. The teachers are always available for ideas exchange, suggestions, discussion, and networking. You are welcome to contact

  1. Classes Start

    Sep 25, 2023
  2. Classes End

    Oct 06, 2024
  3. Length

    4 Weeks
  4. Estimated Effort

    5-10 hours/week
  5. Language

  6. Course Number

  7. MOOCs For Master of science