Teaching hard-working and appreciative students at Manchester is a real pleasure. I hope that students think of me as someone who is approachable and enjoys engaging with them; but also demanding and expecting of great things.
The School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering has a long and rich history dating back to the Industrial Revolution. Some of the greatest advances in physics and engineering took place here in Manchester, and this innovative approach continues to this day.
We are world-leading in research in many areas, from computational fluid dynamics to how engineering impacts public policy. Both staff and students are the custodians and protagonists of this continuing legacy, and the School's research brings a unique perspective to our teaching.
All courses should be illustrated by examples relevant to the fast-moving world in which we live. In final year and MSc taught courses we introduce the students to some of the leading-edge technology – especially as much of the research is conducted here at Manchester – so the curriculum content should always be a mix of fundamental understanding and the application of state-of-the-art research to the real world.
Teaching hard-working and appreciative students at Manchester is a real pleasure. I hope that students think of me as someone who is approachable and enjoys engaging with them; but also demanding and expecting of great things. I have always appreciated it when students – sometimes years later – contact me and thank me for advice.
Most of my research focuses on performing computer simulations of shallow water flows, such as flooding and highly-violent hydrodynamic processes, such as breaking waves on costal defences. The overall objectives are to understand the fundamental physical processes governing our world and provide predictive tools to help prevent disasters in the future.
Our research develops both the underlying mathematical formulations of computational fluid dynamics and the software itself, with new simulation procedures.
Our current research specialises in the meshless method, Smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), where we work closely with industry to develop new algorithms for particular applications. The Manchester Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Expert Group is one of the largest and most active in the world, and is heavily involved in the international organisations representing the method (SPHERIC) and releasing open-source software that is used throughout academia and industry.
We are also using novel computer hardware such as graphics processing units (GPUs) and massively parallel architectures to rapidly accelerate our simulations. Our research can be very varied however, and we are currently using the same techniques to apply to completely different areas, such as laser cutting coronary artery stents.
The aspect of research I most enjoy is meeting and collaborating with other researchers from around the world who are working on similar problems, and using my brain to help people live more harmoniously with nature.