Stability of fluid flows over deformed and moving surfaces
This research project is in competition for funding with one or more projects available across the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). Usually the projects which receive the best applicants will be awarded the funding. Find out more information about the DTP and how to apply.
Application deadline: 15 March 2019
Start date: 1 October 2019
This project will use a mixture of mathematical analysis and novel numerical simulation methods to investigate some fundamental features of disturbance wave development in fluid boundary-layer flows, and 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 optimization 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 optimization 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 destabilization 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.
Requisite skills will be developed for the theoretical analysis and direct numerical simulation of problems that involve fluid flow control and stability. Many of these skills are highly transferable to other areas of scientific research which incorporate models that are formulated using partial differential equations. For example, in mathematical biology, meteorology, finance and a wide variety of other engineering applications.