Our research group primarily works on the computational and theoretical study of fluid dynamics in areas including turbulence, boundary layers, free-surface flows, water waves, multiphase flows, and fluid-structure interactions. Our research is supported by federal and state agencies and industry. The projects originate from a wide range of applications, including mechanical engineering, environmental fluid mechanics, geophysical fluid dynamics, renewable energy, and biofluids; however, basic research aiming at the fundamental mechanisms in fluid dynamics is always a major theme of our studies.
Fundamental Fluid Dynamics is a main focus of our research, covering the following areas:
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a major research tool in our group. Using direct numerical simulation (DNS) and large-eddy simulation (LES) for turbulent flows, together with inviscid-flow-based simulation for water waves, we have developed a suite of advanced simulation codes in house, including:
- DNS and LES of turbulence with wavy boundaries on boundary-fitted grid.
- Multiphase flow simulation, including level-set and volume-of-fluid methods for free-surface flows and Lagrangian-Eulerian method for particle-laden flows.
- Phase-resolved simulation of water waves using high-order spectral method and boundary integral method.
- Simulation of flows in complex geometries with advanced immersed boundary methods and fluid-structure interactions.
- Data assimilation for incorporating laboratory and field measurements and remote sensing data into our simulations.
- Adaptive mesh refinement for simulating complex flows with locally fine structures.
We have also made exciting progresses in emerging areas, such as using machine learning for fluid mechanics and exploring quantum computing for CFD.
Our studies have a broad spectrum of applications:
- Environmental Fluid Mechanics:
- Interfacial mass and heat transfer at the water surfaces.
- Air quality and air pollution, such as the transport of PM2.5 and airborne transmission of diseases.
- Transport of oil spills and microplastics in the ocean.
- Simulation-based study of COVID-19 transmission under complex indoor environments.
- Geophysical Flows:
- Physical oceanography, with a focus on upper-ocean processes including air-sea interactions and wave-current interactions.
- Atmospheric flows, with a focus on the surface layers over land and oceans.
- Wind-wave interaction, including the wave effect on the turbulent wind and the wave evolution under wave forcing.
- Land-air-sea interaction in coastal region, e.g., the wind blowing across the land and sea and the interaction of ocean-bathymetry and waves.
- Benthic boundary layer and the interactions of waves with sediment and mud.
- Canopy flows, such as flow over aquatic plants.
- Engineering and Industrial Applications:
- Cavitation flows.
- Renewable energy, e.g., wind energy, wave energy, solar energy, and hydropower.
- Biological flows and biomimetics, e.g., fish swimming.
- EM/EO and radiative transfer, e.g., EM propagation in atmosphere and optical propagation in atmosphere and upper oceans.
More details of our studies in each area can be found by following the links above.