Numerical Porous Media: Science-Industry Collaboration that is Working

KAUST Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) Center for Numerical Porous Media, or NumPor, is a prime example of how Economic Development at KAUST is already making inroads with industry. The NumPor Center was established in March of 2012. In June, the center held a simulation workshop attended by 11 Saudi and Middle Eastern companies. Now, four of the eleven participants are engaged in various activities with the center.

What NumPor Does

The research performed at the center directly benefits manufacturers and end users in the automotive, construction, HVAC, petrochemical, wastewater treatment, and consumer electronics industries.

The mission of the NumPor SRI Center is twofold: to establish numerical porous media as a new field of research excellence at KAUST, and to bridge the gap between KAUST’s research and education activities and the industry needs of the region. Researchers at the center accomplish this by:

  1. Developing and analyzing mathematical models;
  2. Performing computer simulations of industrial and environmental processes and materials involving porous media;
  3. Developing and exploiting specialized software tools to be used by industrial, academic, and governmental institutions.

Recently, our researchers succeeded in reducing the design time of new filter elements for a partner company up to six times by decreasing the number of prototypes required for modeling/simulation of the filtration and separation processes, in addition to significantly improving the efficiency of the designed filter elements themselves.

How NumPor Connects with Industry

A key partner of the Center is the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics, which has extensive experience working with industry in Europe and worldwide. At the NumPor center, we seek to create similar links in the region targeting regional industry needs with the help of the Technology Transfer & Innovation team. The various channels for collaborating with industry include industrial workshops, joint seminars, industry-funded postdocs and PhD students, and direct projects with companies to solve problems by developing new technologies or improving existing ones.

We help industrial partners improve their products and processes, shorten design time, reduce development costs, and develop new innovative products and processes to increase competitiveness.

Increase Your Company’s Competitiveness

If you develop research-intensive products that involve porous media, and computer-aided engineering is part of your work, meet with us to learn how it can be done better and faster. Contact the Technology Transfer & Innovation team at to learn about the different opportunities for collaboration.


Dr. Oleg Iliev

Dr. Oleg Iliev

Oleg Iliev is Associate Director of the NumPor SRI Center at KAUST. Besides serving as visiting professor at the Computer, Electrical, and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering division, he is a senior scientist at the division of Flow and Material Simulation at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics.