Karuna Koppula Headshot

Karuna Koppula

Principal Lecturer

Department of Chemical Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering

Office Location

Karuna Koppula

Principal Lecturer

Department of Chemical Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering


B.Tech., Andhra University (India); MS, University of New Hampshire; Ph.D., Michigan State University


Dr. Karuna Koppula received B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Andhra University, India, her M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire, and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University. Her Ph.D. research focused on the field of turbulent flow modeling. During her graduate studies, she worked as an intern at Bechtel National Inc. where she used CFD Simulations to understand multiphase flow in Pulse Jet Mixers. Her Master’s thesis research was on gas diffusion layers in PEM fuel cells.

Dr. Koppula joined RIT in 2009 as a visiting faculty in the Mechanical Engineering department and taught courses on problem solving with computers, fluid mechanics, materials science and numerical methods. She later joined the department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering in 2010 and since then taught various courses and laboratories for the undergraduate program. She currently teaches Continuum Mechanics I and II, Analytical techniques II, Chemical engineering insights, Chemical engineering principles and processes labs. She received Norman A. Miles Award for academic teaching excellence in 2012 (selected by the Norman A. Miles Award student recipient) and FEAD grant in 2013.

Following are her areas of research interests

  • Particle manipulation by insulator based dielectrophoresis (iDEP).
  • Microfluidics and Electrokinetics.
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Turbulent Flows and Modeling
  • Fuel Cells

Recent Publications

  • Gencoglu, A., Olney, D. N., LaLonde A., Koppula, K. S., Lapizco-Encinas, B.H., “Particle Manipulation In insulator based Dielectrophoretic Devices”, in press, Journal of Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine, 2013. DOI: 10.1115/1.4025368
  • Gencoglu, A., Olney, D. N., LaLonde A., Koppula, K. S., Lapizco-Encinas, B.H., “Dynamic microparticle manipulation with an electroosmotic flow gradient with low frequency alternating current dielectrophoresis”, accepted, Electrophoresis, 2013.
  • Koppula, K. S., Muthu, S., Bénard, A., Petty, C. A., “The URAPS closure for the normalized Reynolds Stress”, Physica Scripta, Vol. 88, T155, 2013, DOI: 10.1088/0031-8949/2013/T155/014052.
  • Koppula, K. S., Bénard, A., Petty, C. A., “Turbulent Energy Redistribution in Spanwise Rotating Channel Flows”, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 2011, Vol. 50 (15), pg. 8905–8916.
  • Koppula, K. S., Bénard, A., Petty, C. A., “Realizable Algebraic Reynolds Stress Closure”, Chemical Engineering Science, 2009, Vol 64 (22), Pages 4611-4624.

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Gencoglu, Aytug, et al. "Dynamic Microparticle Manipulation With an Electroosmotic Flow Gradient with Low Frequency Alternating Current Dielectrophoresis." Electrophoresis 35. (2014): 362-373. Print.
LaLonde, Alexandra, et al. "Effect of Insulating Posts Geometry on Particle Manipulation in Insulator Based Dielectrophoretic Devices." Journal of Chromatography. (2014): 99-108. Web.
Stevens, Robert J., Steven J. Weinstein, and Karuna S. Koppula. "Theoretical Limits of Thermoelectric Power Generation from Exhaust Gases." Applied Energy. (2014): 80-88. Print.
Gencoglu, Aytug, et al. "Particle Manipulation In Insulator Based Dielectrophoretic Devices." Journal of Nanotechnology in Engineering and Medicine 4 (2). 21002 (2013): 1-7. Print.
Koppula, Karuna S., et al. "The URAPS Closure for the Normalized Reynolds Stress." Physica Scripta 88. T155 (2013): 14052. Print.
Koppula, Karuna S. "Turbulent Energy Redistribution in Spanwise Rotating Channel Flows." Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 50. 15 (2011): 8905-8916. Web.
Published Conference Proceedings
Gencoglu, Aytug, et al. "Particle Manipulation In Insulator Based Dielectrophoretic Devices." Proceedings of the ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress&Exposition. Ed. ASME. San Diego, CA: n.p., Web.

Currently Teaching

3 Credits
This course introduces the student to more advanced mathematical and numerical methods necessary for engineering analysis. Mathematical problems naturally arising in chemical engineering are used to motivate the course topics and techniques taught. The MATLAB programming environment is utilized to facilitate computation, and students learn to use MATLAB’s inbuilt tools as well as Simulink. Topics examined include the solution of systems of linear and nonlinear equations and the solution of ordinary differential equations (initial value problems). Some important topics covered in CHME-301 are re-examined in the MATLAB environment, such as roots of equations, curve fitting, and numerical integration and differentiation.
3 Credits
This course is the continuation of fluid flow and heat transfer taught in Continuum Mechanics I (CHME-320) I. First half of the course is focused on heat transfer. Fins and extended surfaces, Heat exchangers, Internal and External flow for a variety of common configurations are studied. Open ended design problems involving heat transfer applications are solved to further understand practical applications. In the second part of the course, concepts of fluid are reiterated with more focus on energy balances and pipe flows. Pumps and fluid flow machinery are studied to understand their performance and efficiencies.
3 Credits
This course covers the analysis and design of chemical processes for the separation and purification of mixtures. The course includes an introduction to the fundamentals of diffusion leading up to mass transfer coefficients and their use in solving a variety of engineering problems. Design methodologies are examined for equilibrium based processes (such as absorption, stripping, and distillation). Rate-based separation processes, including packed columns and batch adsorption, are examined and contrasted with equilibrium-based processes.
3 Credits
The dynamic behavior of chemical process components is examined. The mathematics of Laplace transforms are examined extensively as a fundamental underpinning of control theory. Block diagrams, feedback control systems, and stability analysis are introduced.
2 Credits
This course extends the laboratory experience from the previous Chemical Engineering Principles Lab, and focuses on unit operations common to engineering practice. Students work in teams to design experimental procedures on existing equipment, and to in some cases, manipulate experimental apparatus to achieve specific experimental goals.
3 Credits
Students work in teams to design and simulate a realistic chemical manufacturing plant. An assigned project requires students to draw on, and integrate, knowledge from all core chemical engineering courses taken over the previous 5 years. The course is taught in the chemical engineering computer lab and makes extensive use of both chemical process simulation software (ChemCad), software for drawing piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID’s) as well as online resources that chemical engineers use to size and select parts and equipment.
0 Credits
One semester of paid work experience in chemical engineering.
3 Credits
The course begins with a pertinent review of linear and nonlinear ordinary differential equations and Laplace transforms and their applications to solving engineering problems. It then continues with an in-depth study of vector calculus, complex analysis/integration, and partial differential equations; and their applications in analyzing and solving a variety of engineering problems. Topics include: ordinary and partial differential equations, Laplace transforms, vector calculus, complex functions/analysis, complex integration. Chemical engineering applications will be discussed throughout the course.