Computational Modelling Group


For queries about this topic, contact Richard Sandberg.

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Advanced modelling for two-phase reacting flow

Edward Richardson (Investigator)

Engine designers want computer programs to help them invent ways to use less fuel and produce less pollution. This research aims to provide an accurate and practical model for the injection and combustion of liquid fuel blends.

Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Computational Modelling

Hans Fangohr, Ian Hawke, Peter Horak (Investigators), Susanne Ufermann Fangohr, Ryan Pepper, Hossam Ragheb, Emanuele Zappia, Ashley Setter, David Lusher, Alvaro Perez-Diaz, Kieran Selvon, Thorsten Wittemeier, Mihails Milehins, Stephen Gow, Ioannis Begleris, Jonathon Waters, James Harrison, Joshua Greenhalgh, Rory Brown, Robert Entwistle, Paul Chambers, Jan Kamenik, Craig Rafter

The £10million Centre for Doctoral Training was launched in November 2013 and is jointly funded by EPSRC, the University of Southampton, and its partners.

The NGCM brings together world-class simulation modelling research activities from across the University of Southampton and hosts a 4-year doctoral training programme that is the first of its kind in the UK.

Complexity in Modelling Electric Marine Propulsive Devices

Suleiman Sharkh, Neil Bressloff, Hans Fangohr (Investigators), Aleksander Dubas

This project involves the simulation of turbulent flow around a marine rim-driven thruster and the complex interaction of flow features involved through computational fluid dynamics. Following this, the optimisation of design parameters using computational fluid dynamics to calculate the objective function is performed and surrogate modelling utilised to estimate optimum design configuration.

Computational Fluid Dynamics of Compressor Blades Within a Gas Turbine Engine (HiPSTAR)

Richard Sandberg (Investigator), John Leggett

As modern engines become more and more efficient, the importance of understanding the finer details of the physics involved grows, if further gains are to be achieved. In such harsh enviroments, such as within a gas turbine engine, there are few means of studying them physicaly and we are left with little choice but to use super computers to model the flow.

DIPLOS - Dispersion of Localised Releases in a Street Network

Trevor Thomas, Ian Castro (Investigators)

The security threat level from international terrorism, introduced by the UK Security Service, has been classified as either "severe" or "critical" for much of its six-year history, and currently remains as "substantial" (source: MI5 website). Part of the risk posed by terrorist threats involves potential releases of air-borne chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) material into highly populated urbanised areas. Smoke from industrial accidents within or in the vicinity of urban areas also pose risks to health and can cause widespread disruption to businesses, public services and residents. The Buncefield depot fire of 2005 resulted in the evacuation of hundreds of homes and closure of more than 200 schools and public buildings for two days; consequences would have been much more severe if prevailing meteorological conditions had promoted mixing or entrainment of the smoke plume into the urban canopy. In both these scenarios it is crucial to be able to model, quickly and reliably, dispersion from localised sources through an urban street network in the short range, where the threat to human health is greatest. However, this is precisely where current operational models are least reliable because our understanding and ability to model short-range dispersion processes is limited. The contribution that DIPLOS will make is:

1. to fill in the gaps in fundamental knowledge and understanding of key dispersion processes,
2. to enable these processes to be parametrized for use in operational models,
3. to implement them into an operational model, evaluate the improvement and apply the model to a case study in central London

Most of the existing research on urban dispersion has focused on air quality aspects, with sources being extensive and distributed in space. Scientifically, this research is novel in focusing on localized releases within urban areas, and on dispersion processes at short range. Through a combination of fundamental studies using wind tunnel experiments and high resolution supercomputer simulations, extensive data analysis and development of theoretical and numerical models, DIPLOS will contribute to addressing this difficult and important problem from both a scientific research and a practical, operational perspective.

Direct Numerical Simulations of transsonic turbine tip gap flow

Richard Sandberg (Investigator)

Direct Numerical Simulations are conducted of the transsonic flow through the tip gap at real engine conditions.

Dispersion of Small Inertial Particles in Characteristic Atmospheric Boundary Layer Flows

John Shrimpton, Zheng-Tong Xie (Investigators), Thorsten Wittemeier

This project aims at improving the near-field accuracy of short term predictions of the dispersion of particulate matter in the atmospheric boundary layer. For this purpose a variety of LES and DNS modelling approaches is used.

Eddy-resol​ving Simulation​s for Turbomachi​nery Applicatio​ns

Richard Sandberg (Investigator), Li-Wei Chen

Traditionally, the design of turbomachinery components has been exclusively accomplished with steady CFD, with Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) models being the predominant choice. With computing power continuously increasing, high-fidelity numerical simulations of turbomachinery components are now becoming a valuable research tool for validating the design process and continued development of design tool.
In the current project, Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) and other eddy-resolving approaches will be performed of turbomachinery components to establish benchmark data for design tools, and to investigate physical mechanisms that cannot be captured by traditional CFD approaches.

Evaluation of Vortex Shedding effects on Slender Structures using Large-Eddy Simulation

Zheng-Tong Xie, Ian Castro (Investigators), Steven Daniels

Wind-induced vortex shedding on buildings is a main concern for the engineer, as this can lead to severe structural failures, or at the very least fatigue concerns. Wind tunnel testing of this effect is somewhat limited with the generation of turbulent flow, making the use of numerical techniques more appealing. Using Iridis3&4, Computational Fluid Dynamics has been employed to simulate the turbulent wind flow around tall buildings and bridge decks. The research proposes novel numerical techniques for the analysis of vortex induced effects on these structures for an effective use in industry.

Fluid Dynamics Optimisation of Rim-Drive Thrusters and Ducted Hydrokinetic Generators

Aleksander Dubas, Suleiman Sharkh (Investigators)

This is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project is a collaboration between the University of Southampton and TSL Technology Ltd. to develop computational fluid dynamics software design tools for modelling and optimising the design of propeller thrusters and water turbine generators.

Fluid Structure Interactions of Yacht Sails

Stephen Turnock (Investigator), Daniele Trimarchi

The research is the main subject of the PhD topic. It regards the application of fluid structure interaction techniques to the domain of yacht sails simulation

How sensitive is ocean model utility to resolution?

Kevin Oliver (Investigator), Maike Sonnewald

One of the most intriguing problems in recent ocean modeling research is the impact of varying model resolution on model accuracy. Increasing model resolution one includes more of the important processes. However, the increase in accuracy with resolution is unlikely to be linear. Thus, as computational cost increases with resolution, a critical assessment of achieved benefits is prudent. Here we analyse a suite of realistic and compatible global ocean model runs from coarse (1o, ORCA1), eddy-permitting (1/4o, ORCA025) and eddy resolving (1/12o, ORCA12) resolutions. Comparisons of steric height variability (varSH) highlight changes in ocean density structure, revealing impacts on mechanisms such as downwelling and eddy energy dissipation. We assess vertical variability using the covariace of the deep and shallow varSH. Together with assessing isopycnal movements, we demonstrate the influence of deep baroclinic modes and regions where the barotropic flow sheds eddies. Significant changes in the deepwater formation and dispersion both in the Arctic and Antarctic are found between resolutions. The varSH increased from ORCA1 to ORCA025 and ORCA12, particularily in the Southern Ocean and Western Boundary Currents. However, there is no significant covariance between the surface and deep in ORCA1, while ORCA025 and ORCA12 show significant covariance, implying an important missing energy pathway in ORCA1. Comparing ORCA025 and ORCA12 we see significant differences in eddy energy dissipation. We assess the impact of varying model resolution on the mean flow, discussing implications to dissipation pathways on model accuracy, with reference to stochastic parameterisation schemes.

Is fine-scale turbulence universal?

Richard Sandberg (Investigator), Patrick Bechlars

Complementary numerical simulations and experiments of various canonical flows will try to answer the question whether fine-scale turbulence is universal.

Modelling power output and wake effects in tidal stream turbine arrays

William Batten (Investigator), Matthew Harrison, Luke Blunden

The PhD research is regards the investigation of modelling techniques for simplifying turbine simulation so that models of large arrays can be investigated.

Multiscale modelling of neutron star oceans

Ian Hawke (Investigator), Alice Harpole

Type I X-ray bursts are explosions which occur on the surface of some
neutron stars. It is believed that the burning begins in a localised spot in the ocean of the
star before spreading across the entire surface. By gaining a better understanding of X-ray
bursts, it is hoped that tighter limits can be determined for other neutron star properties
such as the radius and magnetic field strength.

Prediction of orifice flow flooding rates through generic orifices

Dominic Hudson, Ming-yi Tan (Investigators), Christian Wood, Adam Sobey

This presearch concentrates on the modelling of compartment flooding rates following the occurrence of damage in a ship's side shell. Typical state of the art flooding models use Torricelli’s formula to calculate flooding rates using a constant co-efficient of discharge (Cd). Based on Bernoulli’s theorem, turbulence and viscosity effects are not included using a Cd independent of damage shape or size. Previous work indicates that this assumption over-simplifies the problem to an extent where the flooding rates used for calculation are in error. This project will use CFD validated by experiment to calculate flooding rates for a large number of cases from which a 'krigged' response surface will be generated. Validity of the subsequent response surface will be interrogated.

Sensitivity of the critical depth to the choice of particle movement rules in Lagrangian models and the consequences for the predicted timing of the spring bloom

Tom Anderson (Investigator), Melissa Saeland

Individual-based (Lagrangian) models lend themselves to the study of the controls of the spring bloom in the ocean, due to their ability to represent both the turbulence and the phytoplankton motion. Here, we use a Lagrangian phytoplankton model to test some of the most prevalent hypotheses (e.g. critical depth and critical turbulence).

Stratified combustion physics and modelling

Edward Richardson (Investigator)

Full-resolution simulation data for turbulent combustion are used to investigate the fundamental impact, and practical modelling, of fuel-air stratification.

The effect of roughness upon turbulent supersonic flows

Neil Sandham (Investigator), Christopher Tyson

Understanding the interaction between surface roughness and supersonic air flows are crucial in the design of high speed vehicles, including space re-entry vehicles. Numerical simulations of these flows has been conducted in order to examine and understand how the surface roughness interacts with high speed flows in terms of drag prediction and heat transfer to the wall surface.

The Maximum Entropy Production Principle and Natural Convection

Seth Bullock, James Dyke (Investigators), Stuart Bartlett

In this project I wanted to perform some tests of the so-called Maximum Entropy Production Principle (MEPP) in the context of buoyancy-driven convection in a system with negative feedback boundary conditions.

Turbulence and tidal turbines

William Batten (Investigator), Tom Blackmore, Luke Blunden

The PhD research is focused on understanding the effects of turbulence on tidal turbines. The problem has been simplified using grid generated turbulence and actuator disc representations of tidal turbines.

Variability in high pressure blade trailing edge geometry and its impact on stage capacity and blade temperature

Andy Keane (Investigator), Jan Kamenik

My project involves the trailing edge (TE) geometry of gas turbine high pressure turbine blades, which is subject to inevitable variability due to the manufacturing processes involved.

Vertical turbulence structures in the benthic boundary layer as related to suspended sediments

Hachem Kassem (Investigator), Charlie Thompson

There is a genuine need for better, more robust modelling of suspended sediment transport in the coastal zone, both to understand its morphological evolution and it's impact on biogeochemical cycling, ecosystems services and to guide engineering applications such as dredging and defence schemes against erosion and flooding.
The suspension of sediment in turbulent flows is a complex case of fluid-particle interaction, governed by shear stresses (momentum exchanges) at the bed and within the benthic boundary layer (BBL). The intermittent transfer of momentum is a manifestation of coherent turbulent vortex structures within the flow. The passage of such structures (or clusters of) is often related to perturbations of bottom sediment, which may be entrained and maintained in suspension if sufficient turbulent energy is provided. The first part of my PhD investigated the temporal and scale relationships between wave–generated boundary layer turbulence and event–driven sediment transport in oscillatory flow in the nearshore. This involved complex statistical, spectral, quadrant and wavelet analysis of high frequency nearshore measurements of turbulence and suspended sediments (medium sand), collected as part of the EU-funded Barrier Dynamics Experiment II (BARDEX II). The following step aims to develop a 3D numerical model in OpenFOAM which would reproduce the fine scale turbulence structures observed over a fixed rippled bed in oscillatory flow. The 3D velocity field, turbulent components, correlations (stresses) and quadrant structures will then be linked to observed sediment resuspension events. The model will be validated against a set of laboratory experiments undertaken at the Fast Flow Facility at HR Wallingford.

Wind direction effects on urban flows

Zheng-Tong Xie, Ian Castro (Investigators), Jean Claus

Numerical simulations of turbulent air flow are conducted on Iridis to investigate the effects of different wind directions on the flow within and above an urban-like canopy.


Neil Bressloff
Professor, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Seth Bullock
Professor, Electronics and Computer Science (FPAS)
Hans Fangohr
Professor, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Andy Keane
Professor, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Richard Sandberg
Professor, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Neil Sandham
Professor, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
John Shrimpton
Professor, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Stephen Turnock
Professor, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Gary Coleman
Reader, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Peter Horak
Reader, Optoelectronics Research Centre
Dominic Hudson
Senior Lecturer, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Suleiman Sharkh
Senior Lecturer, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Zheng-Tong Xie
Senior Lecturer, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
James Dyke
Lecturer, Electronics and Computer Science (FPAS)
Ian Hawke
Lecturer, Mathematics (FSHS)
Kevin Oliver
Lecturer, National Oceanography Centre (FNES)
Ming-yi Tan
Lecturer, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Trevor Thomas
Lecturer, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Anatoliy Vorobev
Lecturer, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Tom Anderson
Principal Research Fellow, National Oceanography Centre (FNES)
Edward Richardson
Senior Research Fellow, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Charlie Thompson
Senior Research Fellow, Ocean & Earth Science (FNES)
William Batten
Research Fellow, Civil Engineering & the Environment (FEE)
Luke Blunden
Research Fellow, Civil Engineering & the Environment (FEE)
Andrea Boghi
Research Fellow, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Nicola De Tullio
Research Fellow, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Aleksander Dubas
Research Fellow, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Stuart Bartlett
Postgraduate Research Student, Electronics and Computer Science (FPAS)
Patrick Bechlars
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Ioannis Begleris
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Tom Blackmore
Postgraduate Research Student, Civil Engineering & the Environment (FEE)
Leonidas Bourikas
Postgraduate Research Student, Civil Engineering & the Environment (FEE)
Rory Brown
Postgraduate Research Student, Civil Engineering & the Environment (FEE)
Paul Chambers
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Jean Claus
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Steven Daniels
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Robert Entwistle
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Stephen Gow
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Joshua Greenhalgh
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Alice Harpole
Postgraduate Research Student, Mathematics (FSHS)
James Harrison
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Matthew Harrison
Postgraduate Research Student, Civil Engineering & the Environment (FEE)
Alex James
Postgraduate Research Student, Institute of Sound & Vibration Research (FEE)
Jan Kamenik
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Hachem Kassem
Postgraduate Research Student, Ocean & Earth Science (FNES)
Justin Lovegrove
Postgraduate Research Student, Mathematics (FSHS)
David Lusher
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Juraj Mihalik
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Alvaro Perez-Diaz
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Richard Pichler
Postgraduate Research Student, Civil Engineering & the Environment (FEE)
Daniel Powell
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Craig Rafter
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Hossam Ragheb
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Watchapon Rojanaratanangkule
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Melissa Saeland
Postgraduate Research Student, National Oceanography Centre (FNES)
Kieran Selvon
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Ashley Setter
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Adam Sobey
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Maike Sonnewald
Postgraduate Research Student, National Oceanography Centre (FNES)
Stefano Spagnolo
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Daniele Trimarchi
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Jacob Turner
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Christopher Tyson
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Koen van Mierlo
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Jonathon Waters
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Thorsten Wittemeier
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Emanuele Zappia
Postgraduate Research Student, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Petrina Butler
Administrative Staff, Research and Innovation Services
Susanne Ufermann Fangohr
Administrative Staff, Civil Engineering & the Environment (FEE)
Erika Quaranta
Enterprise staff, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Li-Wei Chen
Alumnus, Osney Thermo-Fluids Laboratory, Oxford University
Mihails Milehins
Alumnus, University of Southampton
Ahsan Thaivalappil Abdul Hameed
Alumnus, University of Southampton
Moresh Wankhede
Alumnus, Dacolt International B.V.
Christian Wood
Alumnus, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Ian Castro
None, None
John Leggett
None, None