Research in this centre covers the entire range of the engineering sciences, from the microstructure of materials to the flow of ocean currents.
Our researchers work with the power generating industries, including renewable energy, aerospace, automotive, biomechanics and civil engineering companies.
Our research interests range from the fundamental physics of turbulent flow to strategies for simulations involving multiple failure mechanisms and the challenges of modelling the interaction between fluid flow and structural behaviour.
Browse this Centre’s specialisms below.
Our researchers are examining the usefulness of hybrid modelling strategies for acoustic flows. We have shown that for a number of scenarios where there is a near-field source and a far-field observer adjacent to a compact body, the specific approximation to the Green's function for the Helmholtz equation can be computed numerically. The numerical Green's function may then be passed to an acoustic analogy for solution of the far-field sound.
Combustion and heat transfer
Our researchers look at buoyant plumes as a precursor to fires to quantify the stress strain misalignment and construct a Reynolds stress-like behaviour in a simple linear eddy viscosity models (EVM). We also study heat transfer on fractal structures, dyadic cantor product spaces and Sierpinski gaskets. Another aspect being studied is the role of strain eigenvector or scalar gradient misalignment in the scalar dissipation transport equation.
Our work on turbulence modelling focuses on developing a formal structure for multiscale methods, in order to develop multi-resolution representations of differential operators, dyadic and triadic nonlinearities. We also work on fluid structure interaction - developing a weighted transport equation approach that ties together the strengths of FEM and finite volume methods - and direct numerical simulation in the development of local boundary conditions for time dependent, Low Mach number turbulent reacting flows.
Fracture and structural integrity
Our areas of focus include a technique for linking length scales so we can use physically based models of the mechanics of materials embedded within a conventional finite element package. We examine micro-polar mechanics of distributed cracking in rocks, plasticity in metals and cleavage fracture in steels. We use Green’s function to model the heat source during narrow gap TIG welding, and use multiscale modelling of fracture for local approaches to cleavage, ductile void nucleation, growth and coalescence.
Material and structural response at high strain rate
This area of research focuses on impact and blast dynamics and how extreme loads inform our understanding of structural crashworthiness, penetration and ballistic mechanics and protective technology. We also cover multiscale modelling of cellular and heterogeneous material behaviours; material characterisation at high strain rate; and structural response to impact and blast loads based on numerical modelling and scaled model tests from low to hypervelocity.
Smoothed particle hydrodynamics
This meshless method is opening up the possibility of research into fields that were well beyond any modelling capability but are now being actively pursued, such as violence free-surface flows. The method predicts fluid pressure, velocities, energy and particle trajectories for many types of flows, making it ideal for identifying formation mechanisms of complicated flow phenomena. Practical applications include wave-breaking, flooding and tsunami impact, flows around wave energy devices and behaviour of nuclear sludge.
The microstructural changes imposed by welding have a profound influence on subsequent performance. Our aim is to extend weld modelling into a multidisciplinary tool that can predict both continuum behaviour and microstructural parameters, and so predict long-term structural performance and be used for 'virtual prototyping' of novel weld processes and procedures in industries including nuclear energy, oil and gas.