UK Turbulence Consortium

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Aeronautics


Understanding, predicting and controlling turbulent flows is of central importance and a limiting factor to a vast range of industries: naval, aeronautical, automotive, power generation, process, pharmaceutical, meteorological and environmental. Our view is that the key to advances in turbulence is by sustaining and stimulating interaction among researchers. It is essential that a diverse range of viewpoints, opinions, strategies and methods are brought together in an efficient and constructive manner. The essence of the consortium is to provide the central core of a needed critical mass activity considering the big challenges posed by turbulence.

The consortium brings together complementary expertise/experience/knowledge and coordinate activities to look at coherent, rational and strategic ways of understanding, predicting and controlling turbulent flows using High Performance Computing. The consortium is crucial for the UK in order to coordinate, augment and unify the research efforts of its participants and to communicate its expertise and findings to a wider audience. Firstly funded in 1995, the UKTC has been through five highly successful iterations. It has seen significant growth since its inception, from 5 original members to 46 members over 21 UK institutions for the present bid, and is continuously receiving requests from academics to join (20 new members for the present bid). In the last 22 years, the UKTC has (i)
demonstrated its ability to convert access to national High-End Computing (HEC) resources into internationally leading research (hundreds published papers since 1995 with thousands non-self citations), (ii) established its international competiveness, (iii) helped its members to leverage and secure multi -million £ grants from governmental funding bodies and industries, (iv) allowed the discovery of new fluid flow phenomena which have led to new ways of improving beneficial effects and reducing negative effects of turbulent flows and (v) faciltated the design of more sophisticated turbulence models redefining industry standards.

The member of the consortium are (in alphabetic order): Pavlos Aleiferis (Imperial College London); Eldad Avital (Queen Mary London); Angela Busse (University of Glasgow); Yongmann Chung (University of Warwick); Dimitris Drikakis (University of Strathclyde); David Emerson (Daresbury Lab); Jian Fang (Daresbury Lab); Gerard Gorman (Imperial College London); Shuishen He (University of Sheffield); Yongyun Hwang (Imperial College London); Richard Jefferson-Loveday (University of Nottingham); Xi Jiang (Queen Mary London); Robert Kerr (University of Warwick); Jae-Wook Kim (University of Southampton); Sylvain Laizet (Imperial College London); Michael A. Leschziner (Imperial College London); Kai Luo (University College London); Xuerui Mao (University of Nottingham); Olaf Marxen (University of Surrey); Joanne Mason (University of Exeter); Aimee S. Morgans (Imperial College London); Charles Moulinec (Daresbury Lab); Gary Page (Loughborough University); George Papadakis (Imperial College London); Matthew Piggott (Imperial College London); Alfredo Pinelli (City University London); Alistair Revell (University of Manchester); Pierre Ricco (University of Sheffield); Aldo Rona (University of Leicester); Neil Sandham (University of Southampton); Mark Savill (University of Cranfield); Peter Schmid (Imperial College London); Mehdi Seddighi (University of Liverpool); Spencer Sherwin (Imperial College London); John S. Shrimpton (University of Southampton); Vassilios Theofilis (University of Liverpool); Emile Touber (Imperial College London); Paul Tucker (University of Cambridge); Maarten van Reeuwijk (Imperial College London); J. Christos Vassilicos (Imperial College London); Peter Vincent (Imperial College London); Andy Wheeler (Univer-
sity of Cambridge); Beth Wingate (University of Exeter); Jun Xia (Brunel University London); Yufen Yao (University of Bristol).

Planned Impact

The research to be carried out in the UK turbulence consortium is relevant to the transportation, energy supply/genera on, biomedical and process sectors in the UK and the world. In addition to creating new knowledge and training for the next genera on of engineers and scientists, the research carried out in this HEC consortium will deliver benefits to the economy and allow us to realize our societal goals.

Despite being the largest contributors to harmful emissions, the transportation, energy genera on/supply and process sectors are experiencing unprecedented growth around the world. For example, it is estimated that more than 29, 000 new large civil airliners, 24, 000 business jets, 5, 800 regional aircraft and 40,000 helicopters will be required worldwide in 2032 to deal with the constant increase of worldwide air traffic. It is predicated that by 2025 there will be more than 16 billion passengers per year worldwide. The UK is directly concerned by this challenge as it is the second biggest national aerospace industry in the world, with a 17% global market share for a turnover of more than £20 billion every year, sustaining more than 200,000 jobs. Aviation will need to find ways to meet this impressive growing demand whilst reducing its environmental impact - specifically the noise levels and carbon emissions. This can only be achieve with be er understanding of the overarching subject of turbulence. Many of our members, with AIRBUS and the US Air Force, are currently working on drag reduction techniques for airplanes, high-speed trains, automotive vehicles and over the hulls
of ships and submarines. Even a 1% reduction in drag can save at least 25,000 gallons of fuel per year per aircraft . Worldwide, this reduction could translate to fuel savings of more than $1 billion per year. The resulting reduction in emissions into the air is equally as impressive. Those projects will have a significant impact in our quest towards a greener future.

Since the mid-1990s,Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been integrated into industrial design and engineering processes, playing a decisive role in improving the quality and efficiency of complex products and significantly reducing the me to market. HEC has enabled simulations at a higher level of precision and complexity, significantly impacting new areas of research. CFD is now recognised as a driver of economic growth and societal well-being and is vital for maintaining international competitiveness. The UK has a long history in Europe of developing cutting-edge applications dedicated to CFD. Because of the rapid evolution of the enabling technologies and the expanding range of applications demand, the UK needs to support and encourage this consortium, which can produce new knowledge, help to design innovative products and reduce cost and me of their implementation in real life applications. A striking example is the recent purchase by our project partner Siemens of the CFD software company CD-Adapco for $970M which clearly shows that better turbulence models that can improve engineering design for a great range of applications are crucially needed by industries. Siemens believes that work within UKTC constitutes a very important contribution to developing knowledge of turbulence and therefore new avenues for modelling turbulence in a very wide range of engineering applications. As project partner, Siemens will have first-hand access to any information, understanding or guidance from our fundamental DNS/LES research that can filter into their commercial CFD software. Rolls-Royce, heavily involved with several members of the consortium, believes that the consortium is crucial to gain insights into turbulence physics and has enabled them to better understand limitations of their current CFD approaches and how to devise improvement strategies to take a competitive lead. This interest is shared by an F1 team who is pushing to embrace leading edge simulation techniques.


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