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Dr Christopher Davies


Dr Christopher Davies Position: Reader Email:
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 75531
Fax: +44(0)29 208 74199
Extension: 75531
Location: M/2.46

Research Interests

My research is in the general field of theoretical and computational fluid dynamics.

I am particularly interested in the following topics:

  • Hydrodynamic stability theory
  • Direct numerical simulation of boundary-layer and wake flow instabilities
  • Fluid-structure interaction, including the use of compliant surfaces for drag reduction
  • Laminar-turbulent transition mechanisms
  • Boundary-layer flow control, including the use of MEMs devices
  • Disturbance structures in turbulent boundary layers
  • Vorticity-based numerical methods and formulations.

One of the main achievements of my research to date has been the demonstration that, at least in theory, compliant surfaces may be designed so as to delay the transition between laminar and turbulent flow in a boundary layer to indefinitely large Reynolds numbers.

Another significant achievement was the derivation of a new velocity-vorticity formulation of the Navier-Stokes equations. This new formulation has proved to be particularly suitable for simulating the evolution and control of three-dimensional disturbances in boundary layers.

I have also shown that, contrary to what many other fluid dynamics researchers had presumed, the absolute instability that is found in the boundary layer over a rotating disk does not in fact give rise to any global form of linear instabilty.

Research Group

Applied Mathematics



Autumn Semester
MA3301 Applied Non Linear Systems

Spring Semester
MA0235 Elementary Fluid Dynamics

Administrative Duties


Cardiff MAGIC co-ordinator

Professional Membership:

Euromech, European Mechanics Society
APS, American Physical Society
Fluid Dynamics Research Centre, University of Warwick

Personal Website

Dr Christopher Davies' personal website




Research Grants

European Commission

Aeromems : An investigation into the viability of MEMS technology for boundary-layer control on aircraft.
140,000 ECU, 1998-2000.

Aeromems II : Advanced aerodynamic flow control using MEMS.
190,000 ECU, 2002-2005.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Near-wall flow structures in 3D turbulent boundary layers.
£330,000 = £260,000 + £70,000, 2005-2008
(Two separate grants, one held at the University of Warwick and the other at Cardiff University).

Novel passive techniques for reducing skin-friction drag.
£186,000, 2007-2008.

All of the grants listed above were in collaboration with Prof P. W. Carpenter (deceased) and others from the Fluid Dynamics Research Centre, University of Warwick.

Numerical simulation of transitional boundary-layer flows.
£5000, 2005-2006

Investigation of alternative drag-reduction strategies in turbulent boundary layers using wall forcing.
£377,000, 2009-2012.
In collaboration with Dr Duncan Lockerby and others from the Fluid Dynamics Research Centre, University of Warwick. (A linked grant, with a similar value, is also held by Prof. M. A. Leschziner and others at Imperial College London.)

Australian Research Council

The stability of unsteady flows in channels and pipes.
$255,000, 2008-2010.
In collaboration with Prof Andrew Bassom, University of Western Australia and Dr Peter Blennerhassett, University of New South Wales.

Royal Society

India-UK Science Networks.
£3850, 2004.


Academic Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Applied Mathematics, University of Warwick.

PGCE Secondary School Mathematics Teaching, University of Birmingham.

MSc Mathematics, University of Warwick.

PhD Engineering, University of Warwick.

Previous Experience

Intermediate Treatment Worker, Coventry & Warwickshire Social Services Departments.

Mathematics Tutor, Fircroft College of Adult Education, Birmingham.

Research Associate, School of Engineering, University of Warwick.

Research Fellow / Senior Lecturer, School of Mathematical and Information Sciences, Coventry University.