Stability of fluid flows over deformed and moving surfaces
The project will focus on the stability of flows over solid surfaces with spatially and/or temporally varying deformations and motion.
There is a wide range of potential applications. These include the reduction of skin friction drag for flows over aircraft wings and marine vehicles.
For example, for the case of aircraft, there is a strong technological interest in the optimisation of wing surface motions that can be deployed to favourably modify the structures of a turbulent boundary layer, without triggering any new forms of instability.
Similar optimisation issues arise with the use of so-called compliant surface coatings, which attempt to mimic the conjectured drag reducing capabilities of dolphin skin. In this case, the aim is to maintain a laminar boundary layer flow by postponing the transition to turbulence, which necessitates the avoidance of any detrimental effects from the destabilisation of flow-induced surface waves.
The project could also encompass an investigation of the stability of various oscillatory flows, including configurations that are of interest for physiological flow modelling. Even when such a flow is bounded by a solid surface with a relatively simple planar geometry, there are a number of mathematically and physically intriguing features of the disturbance development that remain poorly understood.
We are interested in pursuing this project and welcome applications if you are self-funded or have funding from other sources, including government sponsorships or your employer.
Please contact the supervisor when you want to pursue this project, citing the project title in your email, or find out more about our PhD programme in Mathematics.