Dr Chris Davies

Dr Chris Davies


School of Mathematics

+44 (0)29 2087 5531
M/2.46, 2nd Floor, Mathematics Institute, Senghennydd Road, Cardiff, CF24 4AG

I am an active scientific researcher with interests in theoretical and computational fluid dynamics.

My main research interests are in:   

  • Hydrodynamic stability  
  • Vorticity-based numerical methods and formulations
  • Fluid-structure interaction
  • Rotating and oscillatory boundary layers

Much of my time is spent conducting and supervising research. But I also very much enjoy teaching applied mathematics, and communicating my enthusiasm for the subject to undergraduate students!


  • 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

I teach the following modules:

  • MA3301 Applied Nonlinear Systems
  • MA0235 Elementary Fluid Dynamics
  • MA4003 Theoretical Fluid Dynamics

I also have the following teaching related administrative responsibilities:

  • Cardiff MAGIC co-ordinator
  • Year 4 tutor

Research achievements

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 the absolute instability that is found in a family of rotating boundary layers does not give rise to a global form of linear instabilty in anything like the manner that was predicted by other researchers. The connection between the local and global behaviour has turned out to be far more subtle and interesting than had been anticipated.

Most recently, along with my research collaborators, I have discovered a completely unexpected family-tree structure in the spatial-temporal evolution of disturbances that are excited in oscillatory boundary layers.

Research group

Applied and Computational Mathematics Research Group

Research grants

European Commission

  • Aeromems : An investigation into the viability of MEMS technology for boundary-layer control on aircraft; 140,000 ECU, 1998-2000; Collaboration with Prof. Peter Carpenter, University of Warwick

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

  • Near-wall flow structures in 3D turbulent boundary layers; £330,000, 2005-2008; Collaboration with Prof. Peter Carpenter, University of Warwick; 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;  Collaboration with Prof. Peter Carpenter, 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; Collaboration with Prof. Duncan Lockerby and others from the University of Warwick
  • UK Fluids Network, Special Interest Group for Boundary Layers in Complex Rotating Systems; £12,000, 2016-2019; Co-leader with Prof. Stephen Garrett, University of Leicester

  • Bridging the Gaps; £47,000, 2012-2013; Co-organiser with colleagues from Cardiff Schools of Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology & Business School; Grant to promote interdisciplinary aerospace research

Australian Research Council

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

Royal Society

  • India-UK Science Networks; £4000, 2004

Current supervision

Martina Cracco

Martina Cracco

Research student

Photograph of Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan

Research student

External profiles