Texas Tech University

Multiphase Flow Dynamics

The Multiphase Flow Dynamics Laboratory (MFD Lab) investigates the gas-liquid phase flow patterns, fluid flow characteristics, pressure drop, liquid holdup, and severe slugging conditions. Two-phase oil-gas flow in wavy pipelines exhibits a complex transient behavior due to the accumulation of liquid in the valley and gas in the ridges. The presence of severe slugging is one of the most common flow assurance concerns. This situation can cause problems in oil & gas transport operations, such as time-varying stresses in pipelines, premature wear, and start-up additional pressure drop. In addition, severe slugging can significantly affect the flow performance in deviated and wavy horizontal wellbores.

The MFD Lab is currently investigating the physical phenomena that affect the multiphase flow performance in horizontal wavy wellbores and deviated pipes. One important area of interest is the severe slugging development process which is vital for production engineers. Proper prediction of severe slugging conditions would allow them to prevent and mitigate severe slugging and achieve optimal designs for multiphase flow systems. Dynamic simulations are also performed for predictions of transient multiphase flow behavior and the liquid holdup variation and pressure profile along pipes.

Principal Investigators

Dr. Amin Ettehadtavakkol

Dr. Marshall Watson

Dr. Sheldon Gorell

Student Researchers


Jefferson Fernandez


Jefferson Fernandez is a Masters-PhD student in Petroleum Engineering. His main research lies at the intersection of reservoir engineering and completions engineering, i.e. technologies pertaining to unconventional resources such as hydraulic fracturing, huff-n-puff, hydraulic fracturing simulation and diagnostics, rock mechanics, and EOR Simulation. He is currently working on the use of hydraulic fracturing simulation for unconventional wells in the Permian Basin. Jefferson works for Halliburton Energy Services under the Production Enhancement Service Line as a Technical professional – Hydraulic Fracturing/Acidizing. He serves as the Lead Engineer for a stimulation crew responsible for Hydraulically fracturing wells in the Permian basin for Occidental Petroleum. Prior to his current position, he worked as a Facilities Engineering Intern where he assisted in the commissioning of a power station and as a Reservoir Engineering Intern for a Gas Storage Facility. Jefferson has a Bachelor's degree in Petroleum Engineering from New Mexico Tech University.


Victor Pugliese

9Victor Pugliese is a Ph.D. student at Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering where he works on the multiphase flow problems in horizontal and deviated wellbores. His current research focuses on the severe slugging development and mitigation methods for transient two-phase flow of gas and viscous liquid in wavy pipes. He has a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla, Colombia. During his Masters studies, he worked as Research Assistant in Failure Analysis and Design Methodologies. Victor received the Graduate Recruitment Fellowship from Texas Tech Graduate School in 2017 to pursue his doctorate studies.


Farzad Shirani

4Farzad Shirani is a Masters student in Petroleum Engineering focusing on modeling aspects of multiphase flow in deviated wellbores. He has worked as a Subsea High-Pressure High-Temperature Research and Development engineering intern at Dril-Quip Company at the Singapore office in Summer 2019. In addition, he worked as a completion engineer intern for Eagle Ford operations at SM Energy Houston office. Farzad is an active member of the SPE, SPWLA, AADE, and ARMA student chapters, and is currently a membership chair of the SPE student chapter. Farzad holds two Bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering and petroleum engineering from Texas Tech University.


Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering