Congratulations to Tom Hickling (2018, DPhil Engineering), whose doctoral research in fluid mechanics was awarded runner up at the Osborne Reynolds Day.
The annual event, which is run by the University of Manchester and the UK Fluids Network, showcases the best recently-concluded doctoral research projects in fluid mechanics in the UK.
Following assessment by an expert panel and a presentation on the day alongside five other finalists, Tom was chosen as a runner up for his work on “Computational Modelling of Rotating Cavity Flows”, performed at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute under the supervision of Professor Li He. Tom’s research examining how to predict the temperature in rotating cavities in jet engines, a crucial component in the system that distributes cooling air. His work showed that, contrary to current wisdom, some commonly used approaches for simulating the complex fluid flows are not appropriate for use in rotating cavities.
Tom and Professor He also showed that you need need to simulate the interactions between the air inside the cavity and the metal that makes up the cavity in order to make a correct prediction of the temperature. Metal takes much longer to respond to heat than air, so the two had to develop brand new methods to do this effectively. The new method revealed fresh insights into the effect of a hot wall on the aerodynamics of the adjacent fluid flow.
Tom was joined by fellow runner up Dr Dante McGrath and winner Dr Tiannig Tang (Tim), all Oxford university researchers. The three will now progress as the UK’s candidates for the da Vinci competition, organised by the European Research Community On Flow, Turbulence And Combustion. We wish them all the best of luck!