Automotive aerodynamics

Development of robust turbulence modelling and simulation approaches that are suitable for use with complex geometries

We combine the latest research from Experimental Aerodynamics and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to improve understanding of the flow around the next generation of automotive vehicles.

A major focus of our group is the development of robust turbulence modelling and simulation approaches that are suitable for use with complex geometries.

Our tools will pave the way for more detailed design with industrial resources in mind. We are also developing and testing novel flow control techniques relevant to the automotive industry with a view to minimise drag and thus fuel consumption on these vehicles. For electronic vehicles this is even more relevant to maximize range for a given battery life.

As a research group we are also developing novel real-time CFD methods to enable the rapid evaluation of designs through the use of Graphic Processing Units (GPU’s) and High Performance Computing (HPC).

Our expertise

We have particular expertise in:

  • Development of advanced RANS and hybrid RANS-LES methods suitable for complex geometries
  • Embedded LES methods using Synthetic Turbulence Generators.
  • Real-time CFD and High Performance Computing
  • Optimization of CFD methodology and processes for automotive and motorsport

Research focus

  • Development of numerically robust turbulence models for complex geometries
  • Application of RANS and hybrid RANS-LES methods for complex automotive geometries using High Performance Computing (HPC)
  • Best-Practice-Guidelines for industrial users of CFD for automotive applications
  • Novel flow-control solutions for commercial vehicles inspired by nature
  • Real-time CFD using Graphical Processing Units (GPU) to revolutionize the design environment
  • Optimization and development of CFD methodology (including OpenFoam & Star-CCM+) for the motorsport community including Formula 1 and Le Mans 

Computational facilities

At Manchester we have access to some of the best computational and experimental facilities.

  • CSF – Internal University of Manchester HPC facility: 5,840 CPU cores, > 25 Nvidia GPU’s
  • N8 HPC – North West Research Partnership: 5312 CPU cores
  • ARCHER – National Supercomputer (Access through EPSRC grants and consortium): > 64,000 CPU cores
  • High Memory workstations for pre and post processing (3x128GB RAM, high spec NVIDIA GPU’s)
  • Daresbury Computer Labs, STFC – We have a close research connection to Daresbury centre who are experts in High Performance Computing (HPC).
  • Details of experimental aerodynamics facilities

Related research

Automotive aerodynamics combines research from several key specialisms:

Consultancy and CPD

We offer expert advice and research on the latest CFD methods, including the optimization of the CFD process and the use of the latest RANS and hybrid RANS-LES methods using High-Performance Computing. We have expertise in a range of software including OpenFoam, Code_Saturne & STAR-CCM+.

We also offer Continued Professional Development (CPD) courses to provide the most cutting edge knowledge for the application of CFD to automotive problems.

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