Academic Profile


Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder
Experimental investigation on the impact of polydispersity on fluidized bed systems.
Advisors: Prof. Christine Hrenya and Dr. Ray Cocco.
AIChE Particle Technology Forum George Klinzing Best Ph.D. Award, 2013.

M.Eng., Chemical Engineering, National University of Singapore
Experimental investigation on the applicability of Focussed Beam Reflectance Method (FBRM) in the control of cooling crystallization.
Advisors: Prof. Reginald B.H. Tan, Dr. Simon N. Black and Dr. Ann Chow.

B.Eng., Chemical Engineering, National University of Singapore
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Spent two semesters at University of Illinois under an Undergraduate Exchange Program.


Associate Chair (Students) and Director of Outreach, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore – 2016 - date
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore – 2013 - date
Research Scientist, MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., R&D, Pasadena, TX – 2011- 2013
Intern, Particulate Solid Research, Inc. (PSRI), Chicago, IL – 2009
Chemist, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Technical Development, Singapore – 2007
Research Officer, Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES), Crystallization and Particle Sciences, Singapore - 2004-2006
Intern, ExxonMobil Chemical Operations Pte Ltd, Singapore Chemical Plant - 2003


Sabic Young Professional Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Particle Technology Forum (PTF), 2017
Singapore Youth Award, National Youth Council, 2015
Best PhD Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Particle Technology Forum (PTF), 2013
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Assoc Prof Chew Jia Wei
Associate Professor, School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

Fluidized bed technology represents an important industrial application, spanning energy production, chemical synthesis, and pharmaceutical processes, among others. However, due in part to the limitations of measurement techniques, processes employing particulate flows often operate below design capacity, and operations are generally based on experience rather than theory. Thus, my research focuses on the important need for the development of measurement and/or analytical solutions for understanding and diagnostic purposes. Another area of research is scaling analysis of fluidized bed systems to develop design heuristics. In fluidized bed systems an added complexity involves instabilities that have to be included in a comprehensive model. To date, the prediction of the characteristic instability length (e.g., the bubble or cluster size) remains elusive, despite its importance in enhancing our comprehension of various phenomena (e.g., species segregation and clustering) in polydisperse fluidized beds. To this end, systematic scaling analysis is expected to be useful in the design and optimization of fluidized bed systems.

Membrane technology also spans wide-ranging applications, such as water purification, gas separation, and dialysis. However, optimal performance remains elusive due inevitably to concentration polarization and fouling. Specifically for membrane distillation, although rigorous equations have been developed, the inability to account for the wide spectrum of pore sizes of the membrane and/or biofouling layer inhibits the use of such models for predicting the performance. In particular, membrane distillation enables the production of potable water using waste heat from industrial processes, thus makes for a promising Green Technology. Hence, one area of my research will be towards developing new techniques for characterizing pore sizes (such as evapoporometry), which is expected to lead to a better understanding and optimization of membrane processes. Another thrust involves study of an integrated hybrid process comprising a fluidized bed and a membrane for water purification. More specifically, the addition of particles to a tubular membrane module has been shown to significantly enhance the water permeation flux due to promoting turbulence. For the system to become a feasible and reliable method for separations, further enhancement of performance is warranted.
  • Continuous Downstream Purification Platform for High-Value Biopharmaceuticals

  • Development of high-throughput membrane technology for the purification of chiral active pharmaceutical ingredients

  • Development Of Versatile, Optimized Membrane Cascades For The Continuous Purification Of Nanoparticulate Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (NP-API)

  • Exploiting Artificial Intelligence for Monoclonal Antibodies Purification

  • Supporting Module Design, Fabrication And Operation To Harness The Benefits Of HAOPs (Heated Aluminum Oxide Particles) For Fouling Control As A Novel Pretreatment In Practical Membrane-Based Water Processes

  • Understanding and mitigating membrane fouling to exploit the benefits of membrane-based filtration for the separation of biocatalysts in the manufacturing of small-molecule API
  • J.W. Chew, A. Cahyadi, C.M. Hrenya, R.A. Cocco. (2015). Review of Entrainment Correlations for Gas-Solid Fluidization. Chemical Engineering Journal, 260, 152 - 171.

  • F. Zamani, J.W. Chew, E. Akhondi, W.B. Krantz, A.G. Fane. (2015). Unsteady-state shear strategies to enhance mass-transfer for the implementation of ultrapermeable membranes in reverse osmosis: A review. Desalination, 356, 328 - 348.

  • A. Anantharaman, X. Wu, K. Hadinoto, J.W. Chew. (2015). Impact of continuous particle size distribution width and particle sphericity on minimum pickup velocity in gas-solid pneumatic conveying. Chemical Engineering Science, 130, 92-100.

  • A. Cahyadi, A.H. Neumayer, C.M. Hrenya, R.A. Cocco, J.W. Chew. (2015). Comparative Study of Transport Disengaging Height (TDH) Correlations in Gas-Solid Fluidization. Powder Technology, 275, 220 - 238.

  • Chew JW, Krantz WB, Fane AG. (2014). Effect of a Macromolecular- or Bio-fouling Layer on Membrane Distillation. Journal of Membrane Science, 456, 66-74.