Professor Rudolf Prince

Emeritus Professor
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
MIPPS Coordinator
Officer in the Order of Australia (AO)

J01 - Chemical Engineering Building
The University of Sydney


Website School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Research interests

The two main fields of research in which distinguished chemical engineer Emeritus Professor Rolf Prince AO has been most active over his influential 65-year career are distillation column design and computer simulation of chemical processes - the latter at a time when the University's only computer filled a room, required its own air-conditioning system and took an entire weekend to solve a single problem. His many other significant achievements have included pioneering the University's industrial experience program and establishing a practice lab for first-year students - which had the somewhat unexpected effect of encouraging more women to enter the profession.

"My research into distillation column design is important to industry. The process of distilling separates the chemicals you want from those you don't, so it has a wide range of applications in processing and manufacturing.

"And taking advantage of computers for research purposes was quite a novel concept back in those early days. My work in this area enabled us not only to more accurately represent chemical engineering processes but also to control and analyse them effectively - and formed the basis of today's much more advanced computer simulation work in this field.

"Beyond my own research, I've always had a strong interest in teaching innovation, and I feel quite proud to have established an industrial experience program. It was and still is unique - no other engineering department has ever been able to make the effort to adopt it - and I consider it quite a significant achievement.

"Another was when, in the late 1970s, my colleagues and I set up a lab specifically for first-year students, so that as soon as they came to university they were in there in their overalls, hardhats and boots, doing real chemistry. Prior to this we'd noticed that female students were often reluctant to become involved in engineering, because they'd felt intimidated by the assumption that male students had grown up with more practical experience behind them. But once we set up the lab, they could see that the boys had the same challenges with those tasks as they did - so within weeks all the students had the same confidence levels. I actually believe that was quite a strong factor in Sydney ultimately becoming something of a pioneer in attracting more women to chemical engineering."

Selected grants

2002

  • Design and Optimisation of Spinning Cone Columns; Langrish T, Fletcher D, Sykes S, Prince R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).

2000

  • Modelling mass-transfer performance and flooding behaviour of spinning cone columns; Langrish T, Prince R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Large Research Grants (LRG).

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Kor, Y., Prince, R., Fletcher, D. (2008). Using CFD to identify means of reducing consumption for mixing and suspension in paper pulp stock chests. Asia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering, 3(2), 144-150. [More Information]
  • Zivdar, M., Haghshenas Fard, M., Prince, R. (2006). Evaluation of Pressure Drop and Mass-transfer Characteristics of a Structured Packing for Production and Separation of Food Flavours Part I: Pressure Drop Characteristics. Food and Bioproducts Processing, 84(C3), 200-205.
  • Zivdar, M., Haghshenas Fard, M., Prince, R. (2006). Evaluation of Pressure Drop and Mass-transfer Characteristics of a Structured Packing for Production and Separation of Food Flavours Part II: Mass-transfer Characteristics. Food and Bioproducts Processing, 84(C3), 206-212.
  • Langrish, T., Makarytchev, S., Fletcher, D., Prince, R. (2003). Progress in Understanding the Physical Processes Inside Spinning Cone Columns. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 81, 122-130.
  • Langrish, T., Makarytchev, S., Prince, R. (2001). Thickness and velocity of wavy liquid films on rotating conical surfaces. Chemical Engineering Science, 56, 77-87.

Conferences

  • Langrish, T., See, H., Prince, R., Hind, D. (2010). Industry Associates: Moving Toward a More Structured Learning and Teaching Interaction Between Industry and University. Chemeca 2010, Canberra: RMIT Publishing.

2010

  • Langrish, T., See, H., Prince, R., Hind, D. (2010). Industry Associates: Moving Toward a More Structured Learning and Teaching Interaction Between Industry and University. Chemeca 2010, Canberra: RMIT Publishing.

2008

  • Kor, Y., Prince, R., Fletcher, D. (2008). Using CFD to identify means of reducing consumption for mixing and suspension in paper pulp stock chests. Asia-Pacific Journal of Chemical Engineering, 3(2), 144-150. [More Information]

2006

  • Zivdar, M., Haghshenas Fard, M., Prince, R. (2006). Evaluation of Pressure Drop and Mass-transfer Characteristics of a Structured Packing for Production and Separation of Food Flavours Part I: Pressure Drop Characteristics. Food and Bioproducts Processing, 84(C3), 200-205.
  • Zivdar, M., Haghshenas Fard, M., Prince, R. (2006). Evaluation of Pressure Drop and Mass-transfer Characteristics of a Structured Packing for Production and Separation of Food Flavours Part II: Mass-transfer Characteristics. Food and Bioproducts Processing, 84(C3), 206-212.

2003

  • Langrish, T., Makarytchev, S., Fletcher, D., Prince, R. (2003). Progress in Understanding the Physical Processes Inside Spinning Cone Columns. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 81, 122-130.

2001

  • Langrish, T., Makarytchev, S., Prince, R. (2001). Thickness and velocity of wavy liquid films on rotating conical surfaces. Chemical Engineering Science, 56, 77-87.

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