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Fluid Mechanics

The current fluid mechanics research group develops analytical and computational tools to study and the behaviour of fluids across a wide range of length scales and applications.

Fluid dynamics research in the department has a long and well-established history stemming from former eminent members such as Sir James Lighthill, Keith Stewartson and Susan Brown. The current fluid mechanics research group develops analytical and computational tools to study and the behaviour of fluids across a wide range of length scales and applications.  Research interests of staff can be broadly classed into the following categories:

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics – large-scale atmospheric circulation, atmospheric blocking events, rotating stratfied flows, coastal flows and their impact on ecology and fisheries, vortex motion, topographical effects on geophysical flows, dynamics of baroclinic waves and atmospheric chemistry including the transport and mixing of pollutants.

High Reynolds Number Asymptotics -  flow instability, receptivity, laminar-turbulent transition in two- and three-dimensional unsteady flows,  rapid flows past bluff bodies with applications to car, airplane and helicopter performance, flow separation and detached shear layers, two-fluid boundary layers, branching flows and networks,  

Polymer flows, Suspensions and Droplets  - flow instabilities in non-Newtonian fluid flow, shear-banding in entangled systems, suspensions of solid particles or bubbles in Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids, contact between particles,  shear-thickening suspensions for cryopreservation, droplets and splashing, ultrasound propagation through microbubble contrast agents.

Waves and Free-Boundary Problems – propagation and scattering of nonlinear dispersive waves and eddies, free-boundary problems at the interface between two fluids, boundary integral equation methods and complex variable methods for free-boundary problems, the effect of surface tension on free-boundary problems, three-dimensional free surface flows and solitary waves, wave propagation in complex media.

Group Members

Dr Robert Bowles
Prof Gavin Esler
Prof Edward Johnson
Prof Robb McDonald
Prof Frank Smith
Dr Sergei Timoshin
Prof Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck
Prof Helen Wilson