Summary Report

ERCOFTAC 11th Osborne Reynolds Research
Student Award and 1st UK Industry Day

 16th and 17th July 2013
BP Institute, Cambridge

ERCOFTAC, introduced, for the first time, a 2-day format for the Osborne Reynolds event this year, combining the Research Student Award with a new UK Industry Day, for Flow, Turbulence and Combustion (FTAC). Facilities for the meeting were kindly provided by the BP Institute for Multiphase Flow, in Cambridge.

The Osborne Reynolds Research Student Award was again a tremendous success. As with previous years, in addition to the finalists’ presentations, the audience was treated to a superb invited speaker.

Frank Ogilvie, whose most recent role within Airbus was as A380 Aerodynamics Director and Deputy Head of Overall Aircraft Design, is now the Chief Aerodynamicist for the newly formed UK Aerodynamics Centre.  Frank presented a fascinating talk on the HS141 – a civil vertical take-off and landing aircraft concept based on the Harrier jump jet – and other pioneering activities led through the Hatfield aerodynamics research department. Frank’s comments about the necessity of the freedom to explore and practice “enlightened self criticism” in developing new technology resonated strongly. With reference to more recent projects, including Airbus commercial aircraft development, Frank underlined the importance of real understanding of tools such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the crucial role of physical testing, including the use of wind tunnels.

11th Osborne Reynolds Day

The finalists of this year’s Osborne Reynolds Research Student Award were:

 Charles William Pitt Ford (University of Cambridge) “Unsteady Aerodynamic Forces on Accelerating Wings at Low Reynolds Numbers”
 Joseph Sherwood (University College London) “A new approach for investigating microhaemodynamics”
 Julien Landel (University of Cambridge) “Dynamics of quasi-two dimensional turbulent jets”
 Lorna Ayton (University of Cambridge) “High-Frequency Noise Generated by Aerofoils in Uniform Flow”
 Megan Davies Wykes (University of Cambridge) “Stratification confined Rayleigh-Taylor instability”
 Michea Giuni (University of Glasgow) “On reverse transition of wingtip vortices”
 Nagabhushana Rao Vadlamani (University of Cambridge) “Transition in Low Pressure Turbines: Individual and coupled effects of Roughness, Wakes and Free-stream Turbulence”
 Ross Mackenzie (University of Glasgow) “An axisymmetric pressure stabilised predictive model of surface tension in micro-fluids”
 Karthik Kashinath (University of Cambridge) “Nonlinear self-excited thermoacoustic oscillations: bifurcations and routes to chaos

The quality of the work presented was again extremely high, and the deliveries were engaging and well prepared. After some deliberation, the panel awarded the medals to Joseph Sherwood - University College London (Gold), Karthik Kashinath – University of Cambridge (Silver) and Lorna Ayton – University of Cambridge (Bronze). Frank Ogilvie kindly made the presentations.

Testimonial - "The diversity and calibre of presentations at the ERCOFTAC Osborne Reynolds and Da Vinci competitions was very impressive and it was a privilege to be part of the finals. The research topics presented were truly fascinating and the standard of research was top-notch. It was a great honour to be selected as a winner by an eminent set of experts from different areas of fluids, turbulence, acoustics and combustion and these awards were significant capstones to my doctoral research. I am currently part of a team of climate scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in Berkeley, California researching extreme weather and climate events.” (Karthik Kashinath).  

ERCOFTAC, 11th Osborne Reynolds Day Finalists, 2013


Charles Pitt Ford (Cambridge),Julien Landen (Cambridge), Lorna Ayton (Cambridge -Bronze), Megan Davies Wykes(Cambridge), Micheal Giuni (Glasgow), Frank Ogilvie (UK Aerodynamics Centre),Nagabushana Rao Vadlamani (Cambridge), Ross Mackenzie(Glasgow), Karthik Kashinath (Cambridge-Silver), Joseph Sherwood (UCL-Gold)

ERCOFTAC UK (1st) Industry Day

The ERCOFTAC UK Industry Day ( an IEO initiative), went very well, and we had a diverse set of presentations across industry. ERCOFTAC is also grateful to the UK government funding agencies, EPSRC and the Technology Strategy Board for their attendance and guiding presentation.

Prof. Anthony Hutton, Airbus UK, and the incumbent chairman of the  Knowledge Network Committee (KNC), kindly provided a brief introduction to ERCOFTAC.

Our keynote speaker, Professor Lord Julian Hunt is the Emeritus Professor of Climate Modelling within the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London, having held numerous prestigious offices within the FTAC community, including Director General of the Met Office, and Professor of Fluid Mechanics at Cambridge University. Prof. Hunt was the founding secretary general of ERCOFTAC in 1988.

Prof. Julian Hunt, delivered an immensely insightful presentation on the use of new research in turbulent flows, in industry and environmental technology. With reference to a range of topical environmental, interfacial and even legal (!) flows, Prof Hunt presented a clear case for the need to develop new ideas and qualitative concepts in turbulent eddy modelling. Fascinating, and in some cases surprising observations, including the manner in which jet flows entrain the fluid around them, or the way in which particles are carried in vortices, served to illustrate the impact of improved fundamental knowledge. Current investigations of the thin layer structure of turbulence - neatly summarised as a “tagliatelle versus spaghetti” classification – were shown to fit naturally into a broader map of eddy structure, reminiscent of the powerful “Mappa Mundi” scheme for turbulence modelling. Prof Hunt concluded with a call for more basic research and open discussions, and further European collaboration.

Prof. Andy Woods, the BP Institute, Cambridge, provided an insight into the work being done on multiphase flows, with emphasis on buoyancy-driven mixing as a route to removal of the moving parts from industrial processes. Prof. Woods described features of the jet flows being investigated, including the variation of diffusion coefficients and the growth of hydrothermal plumes.

Dr. Nadir Ince, Alstom UK, presented an industrial perspective of the challenges in flow modelling, with reference to turbine seal-leakage calculations where edge-separation bubbles act to constrict the flow. Accuracy in such modelling is crucial, and so parametric exploration of a design space requires rules to be carefully followed in the integration of automatic mesh generation, as well as other multi-disciplinary tools.

Dr. Robert Bates, Rolls-Royce UK, gave a higher-level description of the challenges in uncertainty management in a complex engineering environment. This led naturally into a discussion on collaboration between statisticians and engineers, and the opportunities for FTAC practitioners in working with the Statistical Modelling Working Group.

Dr. Chris Carey ,ANSYS UK, gave an update on the work being done to make automated parametric design space exploration easier and more accessible with some new “what if” tools in the latest release of ANSYS, including a visual programming environment for simulation workflows. The concepts raised were resonant with the industrial requirements, and the new licensing framework for use of the software was welcomed as a way of reducing the cost of large simulation tasks.

Dr. Jamil Appa , Zenotech UK,  kindly stepped in on the day to present an overview of a new project, sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering, allowing school student teams to access industrial-strength aerodynamic simulation capability as part of a competition to race their own variants of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car this summer. The project integrates a number of capabilities, including a new GPU-based CFD code (zCFD), high-performance computing on-demand and a custom web-portal for simplifying the simulation task.

Prof. Kwing-So Choi ,Nottingham University, and also leader of the Special Interest Group on Drag Reduction and Flow Control provided an interesting update on the progress in using sub-boundary-layer vortex generators and plasma flow control as a way of modifying boundary layer behaviour to reduce the drag of commercial aircraft.

Mrs. Lynne McGregor, Lead Technologists, Technology Strategy Board (TSB) presented an overview of the role and activities of the TSB, and priorities for High Value Manufacturing. Particularly useful were the description of the various mechanisms for research and technology project support, and the linkage between the FTAC community and the Knowledge Transfer Networks.

ERCOFTAC is very pleased that both the TSB and the EPRSC attended the day, and the final discussion highlighted some key opportunities, including contribution to the Horizon 2020 framework planning activity; uncertainty quantification – with linkage between FTAC and statistics; process automation and open standards. It was noted that enormous benefit can be derived from shared test cases and aggregated results – examples being the drag prediction workshop, WakeNet and Airbus’ customised open test case XRF1.

ERCOFTAC would be pleased to support discussions and planning to make improved use of such open and industrially oriented test cases in driving fundamental research.


ERCOFTAC is very grateful to the event hosts, the BP Institute for accommodating us and facilitating the event. A number of the participants travelled to attend the event, and this would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship from ANSYS (Dr. Chris Carey), BAE Systems (Dr. Robert Banim), ARA Ltd (Dr. Peter Curtis), the Technology Strategy Board (Mrs. Lynne McGregor) and Alstom (Dr. Nadir Ince). We are very grateful for their on-going support.

Zenotech Ltd is pleased and honoured to have been involved in organising the day. Established in 2012 by company principals David Standingford and Jamil Appa, the company is developing technology to dramatically improve the performance and online availability of engineering software – particularly computational fluid dynamics. It is anticipated that the solid UK and European academic base will be instrumental in delivering the next generation of analysis tools.

New Initiative

Following the 2-day event, and through further discussion within the newly formed ERCOFTAC UKPC Steering Group, a new UK Technology Strategy Board Special Interest Group (as distinct from an ERCOFTAC SIG) has been proposed on the subject of ‘Uncertainty Quantification and Management in Engineering Design and Operation’. This tremendously important area is resonant across a wide range of industries and we are hopeful that it will attract national support.

Dr. David Standingford,
Zenotech Ltd, University Gate East Park Row Bristol, Bristol BS1 5UB United Kingdom

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