Alex Fells

Alex Fells


Postgraduate research funded by the University of Leeds with support from the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). My project aims to develop a design strategy for Pulsed Sieve-plate Extraction Columns (PSEC) using modelling and simulation. Additional research has consisted of understanding the effect of scale on the performance of Annular Centrifugal Contactors (ACC). Relevant experiences include:

  • Design, procurement, construction, and commissioning of uranium active PSEC and multi-scale Annual Centrifugal Contactor pilot plants.
  • Using optical characterisation and advanced image analysis to characterise hydrodynamics and various analytical techniques to characterise mass transfer.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation using a variety of approaches to predict droplet size distribution and mass transfer, validated against experimental data.
  • Development of transient reduced order process model able to predict hydrodynamic and mass transfer performance of an industrial scale PSEC and implementing the PUREX process to model nuclear reprocessing flowsheets.

Previous experiences include process engineering roles providing design services and operational support at Sellafield and in the Oil and Gas industry.

Research interests

  • Solvent extraction
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Nuclear engineering
  • Waste management.


  • Integrated MEng and BEng in Chemical and Nuclear Engineering (Industrial)