I am Reader in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh since 2020, and Lecturer before this from 2015. My research focuses on molecular fluid flows characteristic of micro- and nano-scale devices, granular flows and crowd modelling. In these types of multiscale flow problems, conventional fluid equations are generally inaccurate, so the research challenge has been to develop the new engineering science needed to understand and technologically exploit these complex flows.
Key example areas I work on include: water filtration in nanostructured membranes to deal with the global water crisis; low pressure gas flows to deal with the demands of the silicon chip photolithography industry and the growing aerospace industry; and cavitation surface nanobubbles that could clean precision surfaces or reduce marine drag.
I have developed computational particle simulation tools (e.g. dsmcFoam, mdFoam) and hybrid methodologies in the third-party open-source software OpenFOAM since 2006 to deal with these problems, which run on UK supercomputing facilities, such as ARCHER2, Cirrus and ARCHIE-WeSt. Since 2009 several of these models have been chosen by OpenCFD Ltd, the founders of the OpenFOAM project to be incorporated into releases of the code for distribution worldwide.
I work closely with other academics from the Institute of Multiscale Thermofluids at the University of Edinburgh and other UK/international colleagues on various overlapping challenges. This has attracted a number of joint grant funding, including from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, multinational companies, international research institutions and computational resource to run our simulations on various HPC facilities in the UK (e.g. ARCHER2, Cirrus).