wsa staff

Prakash Sarnobat
CFD and Lighting Modeller

Research Group: Architectural Science Group


Postal Address:
Welsh School of Architecture
Bute Building, King Edward VII Avenue
CF10 3NB

Telephone: 029 20879314
Fax: 029 20874623

I have an interest in many aspects of non-linear continuum physics. My early research was in using General Relativity to describe the behaviour of astrophysical objects using analytical solutions – both exact and approximate. This led to the discovery of unexpected and highly non-trivial phenomena that occur during rotation. The role of fluid dynamics in this inspired me to take up the challenging, but exciting topic of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), and this is one of the most important design tools in Infrastructure Engineering. A major thrust of work in this area is to evaluate the performance of different ventilation strategies during building design and refurbishment. Of particular significance is pathogen control in healthcare (and other) facilities; I am using CFD to model the impact of new developments in this area, especially the use of solid-state devices that emit Visible-Violet light. It is hoped that they can provide a safer (and more energy efficient) alternative to commonly used UltraViolet disinfection devices.

A concurrent project involves Thermal modelling and Lighting design. Lighting is one of the largest users of energy in buildings, and a recent innovation has been the development of solid-state Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). They offer many advantages over traditional forms of lighting, but an ongoing concern is the high initial cost. A strategy that is gaining popularity is to combine LEDs with building-integrated Photovoltaic devices, as this eliminates the AC to DC conversion losses. The aim of this work is to investigate and obtain a set of sufficiently general conditions under which a cost-effective system can be operated; and given these conditions, suitable lighting configurations must be designed for both domestic and non-domestic buildings. Dynamic Thermal Simulation is then used to determine the annual energy use of the building.

I have familiarity with a wide range of simulation tools, including (but not limited to) PHOENICS, FloVENT, IES-VE, Dialux, ANSYS, and Ecotect.


  • Research, Innovation, and Knowledge Transfer.
  • IBPSA liaison officer
  • External consultancy work

Professional Interests

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Ventilation strategies and Contaminant control
  • Lighting Design
  • Thermal Modelling
  • Building Physics
  • Renewable Energy Technologies
  • Other aspects of Environmental and Industrial Modelling
  • Theoretical Astrophysics and General Relativity