The Second IASTED International Conference on
Solar Energy
SOE 2010

July 15 – 17, 2010
Banff, Alberta, Canada


Prof. Richard Petela
Technology Scientific Ltd., Canada

Biography of the Conference Chair

Conference Chair Portrait

Richard (Ryszard) Petela earned his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. from the Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland. He served as a professor of mechanical engineering at his alma mater from 1956–1984, where he researched and lectured courses in engineering thermodynamics, energy conversion processes, heat and mass transfer, and combustion and fuel technology, and supervised 73 Ph.D. and M.Sc. Dissertations. Dr. Petela co-founded the Polish Scientific School of Exergy, and founded the Silesian Research School of Combustion. Additionally, he served as the President of the Silesian University of Technology, and as a member of the Committees of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He was also the scientific consultant to the Ministry of Chemical Industry and Science on the subject of hybrid gasification process, and has been a scientific and technical advisor for steam power stations, for the non-ferrous metallurgy industry, and for the steel industry. Dr. Petela also coordinated the government’s “Energy” and “Coal” research programs. With the help of his research team, he has implemented several technological ideas in steel industry furnaces. Dr. Petela was a member and a licensed expert of the Polish Mechanical Engineers and Technicians Association, the vice-president of the Silesian Section of the Polish Consultant Association, and a member of the scientific boards of four other organizations. For many years he carried out editorial work for the University Research Archives, and was a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the quarterly Archivum Combustionis, a publication edited under the auspices of the Polish Academy of Science. Since 2003, Dr. Petela has been an Associate Editor for the Journal of Solar Energy, and since 2008, a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Exergy.
As a former activist in the Solidarity movement in the scientific community, Dr. Petela left Poland after the end of martial law, immigrating to Canada in 1984. From 1985–1989 he was a visiting professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Calgary, where he both taught and conducted research. From 1989–1992, Dr. Petela also served as a research officer of the Alberta Research Council, assisting with coal upgrading processes. As President of the consulting company Technology Scientific Ltd., the position he has held since 1992, Dr. Petela has patented a method for the intensification of the processes within a controlled velocity field in gaseous-solid-liquid fluids (agglomeration of coal, recovery of gold, soil cleaning, and agitation chemical processes), and for a silencer for attenuation of the noise of sonic and supersonic gas jets discharged urgently to the atmosphere. Dr. Petela has also studied the theory of utilization of waste heat at low temperatures, and the consumption of energy and exergy and carbon dioxide emission in an ironmaking process. In his book “Engineering Thermodynamics of Thermal Radiation – for Solar Power Utilization”, McGraw-Hill 2010, he developed an exergy theory of thermal radiation. Dr. Petela has been a member of the American Chemical Society, the New York Academy of Science, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In total, Dr. Petela was the principal investigator of 72 projects for both industrial and scientific institutions, and presented his research at 88 national and international conferences. He holds 12 patents and has authored 18 books and university textbooks, and 156 scientific and technical papers.