The nucleation of a new phase within another occurs in many natural phenomena as well as engneering processes of relevance to industry. In particular, we look at:

  • Ice formation and growth (for e.g. to design next-generation icephobic coatings)
  • Boiling and cavitation, (for e.g. for novel drug delivery and better two-phase cooling)

Interfacial Phenomena is the study of the physics involving the boundary between two phases, which determines the dynamics of the phases, as well as transport between them. In particular, we look at:

  • Droplet technologies (for e.g. to study PCR in droplets or lab-on-a-chip devices)
  • Interfacial heat transfer (for e.g. to design better thermal management solutions)

Porous media flows is the study of fluid flow through porous structures, like a household sponge. Many open problems involving porous flows are highly relevant to next-generation industrial applicatons, such as:

  • CO2 injection & storage
  • Shale gas extraction
  • Water nanofiltration and storage

Particle-laden/particle flows ubiquitously occur in environmental, biological, and industrial systems. Through cutting-edge modelling and numerical simulations, we try to advance our understanding of such system and shed light on the complex micro-scale interactions of particles with each other and with the boundaries which determines the characteristics of the system at large scales. Currently, we are tackling challenging research/technical questions in the following application areas:

  • Advanced manufacturing processes
  • Particle-Surface interactions, erosion and damage
  • Constitutive modeling of granular flows
  • Particle breakage

Rarefied gas dynamics involves the study of molecular effects in non-equilibrium fluid transport. We develop gas kinetic models, efficient numerical methods based on the direct simulation Monte Carlo method and discrete velocity method, aiming to develop next generation technologies concerning non-equilibrium heat and mass transport, with application to:

  • nanofluidic cooling
  • vacuum generators and pumps
  • heat and mass transport in membranes
  • high-performance heat and sound insulation materials such as aerogel

Fluid-structure interaction is a established theme in fluid mechanics and deals with the response of obstacles and structures to fluid (compressible/incompressible) flow forces as the flow interacts with them. However, here we deal with such interactions at small scales which has received much less attention. Currently we are actively working on the following areas:

  • Cavitation and damage to biomaterials
  • Compressible boundary layer interactions with structures