Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Asst Prof Chew Jia Wei

Assistant Professor

School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
College of Engineering

Phone: (+65)6316 8916
Office: N1.2-B2-25

  • PhD (Chemical Engrg) University of Colorado, Boulder 2011
  • MEng (Chemical Engrg) National University of Singapore 2006
  • BEng (Chemical Engrg) National University of Singapore 2004

Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2007-2011
Experimental investigation on the impact of polydispersity on fluidized bed systems.
Advisors: Prof. Christine Hrenya and Dr. Ray Cocco.
AIChE Particle Technology Forum George Klinzing Best Ph.D. Award, 2013.

M.Eng., Chemical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 2005-2006
Experimental investigation on the applicability of Focussed Beam Reflectance Method (FBRM) in the control of cooling crystallization.
Advisors: Prof. Reginald B.H. Tan, Dr. Simon N. Black and Dr. Ann Chow.

B.Eng., Chemical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 2000-2004
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – 2002-2003
Spent two semesters at University of Illinois under an Undergraduate Exchange Program.


Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore – 2013 - date

Research Scientist, MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., R&D, Pasadena, TX – 2011- 2013

Intern, Particulate Solid Research, Inc. (PSRI), Chicago, IL – 2009

Chemist, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Technical Development, Singapore – 2007

Research Officer, Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES), Crystallization and Particle Sciences, Singapore - 2004-2006

Intern, ExxonMobil Chemical Operations Pte Ltd, Singapore Chemical Plant - 2003
Research Interests
Fluidized bed technology represents an important industrial application, spanning energy production, chemical synthesis, and pharmaceutical processes, among others. However, due in part to the limitations of measurement techniques, processes employing particulate flows often operate below design capacity, and operations are generally based on experience rather than theory. Thus, my research focuses on the important need for the development of measurement and/or analytical solutions for understanding and diagnostic purposes. Another area of research is scaling analysis of fluidized bed systems to develop design heuristics. In fluidized bed systems an added complexity involves instabilities that have to be included in a comprehensive model. To date, the prediction of the characteristic instability length (e.g., the bubble or cluster size) remains elusive, despite its importance in enhancing our comprehension of various phenomena (e.g., species segregation and clustering) in polydisperse fluidized beds. To this end, systematic scaling analysis is expected to be useful in the design and optimization of fluidized bed systems.

Membrane technology also spans wide-ranging applications, such as water purification, gas separation, and dialysis. However, optimal performance remains elusive due inevitably to concentration polarization and fouling. Specifically for membrane distillation, although rigorous equations have been developed, the inability to account for the wide spectrum of pore sizes of the membrane and/or biofouling layer inhibits the use of such models for predicting the performance. In particular, membrane distillation enables the production of potable water using waste heat from industrial processes, thus makes for a promising Green Technology. Hence, one area of my research will be towards developing new techniques for characterizing pore sizes (such as evapoporometry), which is expected to lead to a better understanding and optimization of membrane processes. Another thrust involves study of an integrated hybrid process comprising a fluidized bed and a membrane for water purification. More specifically, the addition of particles to a tubular membrane module has been shown to significantly enhance the water permeation flux due to promoting turbulence. For the system to become a feasible and reliable method for separations, further enhancement of performance is warranted.
Research Grant
  • 1°N Programme - Joint Singaporean-German Research Projects (2016-) [by Nanyang Technological University]
  • Academic Research Fund Tier 1 (2015-2018) [by Ministry of Education (MOE)]
  • Academic Research Fund Tier 2 (2015-) [by Ministry of Education (MOE)]
  • GlaxoSmithKline - EDB Trust Fund (2017-) [by GlaxoSmithKline Pte Ltd]
  • NRF CREATE (2014-)
  • Start Up Grant (2013-2017) [by Nanyang Technological University]
  • iFood Research (2014-2017) [by Nanyang Technological University]
Current Projects
  • A multiscale integrated approach to develop biomass/waste pyrolysis technology
  • An Innovative Way of Enhancing Distillate Flux in Membrane Distillation via Amphiphilic Janus Nanoparticles
  • Assessing and Mitigating Membrane Fouling in Membrane-based Oil-water Separation
  • Cambridge Centre for Carbon Reduction in Chemical Technologies (C4T)- Multi-Scale Studies of Catalytic and Adsorption Technologies (MUSCAT) (IRP1.2)
  • Capacitative protein sorting for facile regeneration of a protein sorting adsorption system
  • Development of Membranes with ligand-carrying amphiphilic nanoparticles for wastewater treatment, soil recovery and hydrological mining
  • Development of Stable Oil-water Emulsions using Amphiphilic Nanoparticles for Membrane-based Oil-water Separations
  • Development of Versatile, Optimized Membrane Cascades for the Continuous Purification of Nanoparticulate Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (NP-API)
  • Fluidized Bed and Membrane Technologies
  • IRP 1.2 Cambridge Centre for Carbon Reduction in Chemical Technology (C4T)
  • Optimizing the energy-efficiency of membrane-fouling mitigation via liquid-solid fluidization
  • Understanding and Alleviating Membrane Fouling in Highly-concentrated Emulsion-based Separations in Food Processing Applications
Selected Publications
  • J.W. Chew, A. Cahyadi, C.M. Hrenya, R.A. Cocco. (2015). Review of Entrainment Correlations for Gas-Solid Fluidization. Chemical Engineering Journal, 260, 152 - 171.
  • F. Zamani, J.W. Chew, E. Akhondi, W.B. Krantz, A.G. Fane. (2015). Unsteady-state shear strategies to enhance mass-transfer for the implementation of ultrapermeable membranes in reverse osmosis: A review. Desalination, 356, 328 - 348.
  • A. Anantharaman, X. Wu, K. Hadinoto, J.W. Chew. (2015). Impact of continuous particle size distribution width and particle sphericity on minimum pickup velocity in gas-solid pneumatic conveying. Chemical Engineering Science, 130, 92-100.
  • A. Cahyadi, A.H. Neumayer, C.M. Hrenya, R.A. Cocco, J.W. Chew. (2015). Comparative Study of Transport Disengaging Height (TDH) Correlations in Gas-Solid Fluidization. Powder Technology, 275, 220 - 238.
  • Chew JW, Krantz WB, Fane AG. (2014). Effect of a Macromolecular- or Bio-fouling Layer on Membrane Distillation. Journal of Membrane Science, 456, 66-74.

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