Key Research Interests and Expertise

Applied Mathematics

Fluid Mechanics

Free surface flows and water waves.

My research is in the fluid mechanics of unsteady water waves, breaking waves and free surfaces. I have an ongoing interest in violent flows, such as splashes and liquid jets. One reason for trying to solve free boundary problems of this type is to account for the extremely high pressures and forces on structures struck by water waves, such as ships and harbour walls. The next time you are at the beach watching the waves, notice the jet or arch of water made by an overturning wave. It contains water whose acceleration can exceed 4g. When waves impact cliffs and seawalls the water undergoes even higher acceleration. Such impacts are an especially vigorous class of violent flow. Examples include (i) a sea wave breaking onto a vertical harbour wall, and (ii) a ship plunging into an oncoming series of waves (a `head-sea'). PhD students with my supervision have worked in these areas, e.g.  modelling the displacement of shingle and boulders on beaches struck by waves; another project was on the most highly accelerated liquid jets. I also have an interest in the safe landing of aircraft onto water (ditching) in recent PhD and postdoc projects. An on-going shared project, with a Visiting Fellow, is wave-impact forces on open structures, e.g. offshore wind turbines.

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