Virginia Lane

Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Curtis
College of Engineering
"I want to go into scientific research because I am overwhelmed by the complexity of this world. The different branches of science are interwoven so seamlessly that it's amazing just to think about. Studying even the smallest piece of science shows how intricate the bigger picture is, and even on a small scale, science never ceases to fascinate me. No matter how much we know about the universe, there will always be more to learn and realizing this inspires me to learn as much as I can in the time I have."


Chemical Engineering, Music Performance- Cello



Research Interests

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Molecular Biophysics
  • Interdisciplinary

Academic Awards

  • Creativity in the Arts & Sciences Event (CASE) award winner: Spring 2014
  • Uriel Blount Jr., and Jessie B. Blount Cello and Viola Memorial Endowment: Spring 2015
  • Dean's list: Spring 2015
  • UF University Scholars Program: 2015-2016


  • Sigma Phi Lambda
  • Chemical Engineering Peer Advisors
  • Cellorando


  • Shands Hospital
  • First Lutheran Church

Hobbies and Interests

  • Cello
  • Piano
  • Reading
  • Singing

Research Description

Experimental Analysis of Biomass Particle Flows
This research project will be an investigation of the multiphase behavior specific to the particles and flow associated with continuous, high-solids, leach-bed anaerobic digestion. This objective will be accomplished through a combined effort involving both simulation and experimentation. One of the Postdoctoral researchers in the Curtis lab will run bulk flow simulations to create predictive models which I will validate experimentally through shear cell testing of biomass (wheat straw). The validated models can then be employed to describe the multiphase flow behavior within the digester technology. The goal of the experiments and simulations is not only to measure biomass stress, but also to seek possible scaling relationships which will collapse some of the rheological properties into master stress curves. Sheer stress of the biomass will be measured using a Shulze ring shear tester. These tests will be conducted in dry state and in the presence of small moisture content (typically less than 10%) such that the liquid bridges between the biomass fibers are in the pendular bridge state.