Research

Williams Fluid Dynamics and Turbulence Research Group

Our lab studies turbulence and its resulting impact on vehicle design and environmental processes. Such flows often have significant engineering complexity, often resulting in strong flow curvature, heat-transfer or compressibility that pushes the boundaries of current modelling and engineering design simulation capabilities. We aim to enhance our understanding of turbulent physics, structure and scaling phenomena. This work has the potential to greatly enhance our ability to predict vehicular and environmental flows, reducing uncertainties and expanding the design envelope with increased confidence.

The Williams lab has two primary research themes:

  1. To identify changes to structure and scaling of turbulence in vehicular and environmental flows. Such perturbations are greatly varied and could be due to surface curvature, roughness, heat transfer or compressibility for example. While of great importance to our understanding of many systems of engineering relevance, these perturbations add complexity that is often difficult to model, measure or simulate. Through a better understanding of these physical mechanisms, we aim to greatly enhance predictive capabilities.
  2. To capitalize on, and extract greater information from, the increasingly complex and detailed turbulent flow datasets now becoming available by examining new methods to efficiently extract detailed structural information. These methods include model reduction techniques such as Partial Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) and efforts to automate the extraction of instantaneous flow structure using techniques such as machine learning.