Cafe X

Café X will bring together faculty, staff, students and the broader community, to cultivate and develop “blue sky” thinking about topical issues and leading edge ideas. Invited speakers will share experiences in exciting innovative areas that will spark discussion, provoke debate and elicit thoughtful ideas.

Featuring ...

Detlef Züehlke

Sohail Murad
Professor and Chair, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Illinois Institute of Technology

Why do experiments at all, when simulations are much more relevant?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
3:30 - 4:30 pm

McMaster University
Engineering Technology Building, Room 535

Free admission, however seating is limited. Registration required.

Café X will be open for business for one hour, starting with a presentation, followed by questions and answers. Refreshments will be available at the start and conclusion of the event.


With advances in computing resources/technologies (super computers and super clusters) it is now possible to examine complex phenomena computationally. Tools have been developed that can examine systems at the sub-nano-scale, nano-scale, microscopic/mesoscopic, as well as macroscopic scale. The question often asked is, do we will still need to study physical and chemical phenomena experimentally or are these computational methods likely to make experimental studies redundant and unnecessary in the near future? The answer depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If the goal is to get precise numerical results, then these methods may or may not work. However if the goal is to understand the physics or get general behavior, then they have indeed become very reliable. However, this question still generates heated discussions, and we will examine why this is a controversial subject in the scientific community.

About Sohail Murad:

Dr. Murad is Professor and Department Chair of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has done pioneering research in the development of molecular simulation methods for engineering applications. He developed a new method for simulations of polyatomic molecules using quaternions; was the first do simulate the complete reverse osmosis process; study gas separations and demonstrate rectification by manipulating the solid-fluid boundaries in nanosystems.

For event information, please contact Terry Milson,, 905-525-9140, ext. 27391.