Computational Engineering

The Computational Engineering Group combines leading-edge expertise in fluid flow modelling with the latest high-performance computing solutions to help solve complex fluid dynamic problems. The group has been collaborating on groundbreaking projects with academia and industry for many years and specialises in high performance parallel computing, turbulence and combustion modelling, and microfluidics.

Predicted flow pattern around Daresbury Tower

The image shows the computed air flow around the Daresbury Tower.
The calculations were performed on a 64 processor SGI Altix 3700.

Academic support

The Computational Engineering Group supports research in UK universities primarily through scientific collaboration and software development. We support Collaborative Computational Project 12 (CCP12) which is funded through the Engineering programmes within the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (link opens in a new window). One of the major activities for CCP12 is High Performance Computing in Engineering and the project seeks to support grant holders in the exploitation of local and national high performance computing facilities. CCP12 has worked closely with the academic community to support the engineering consortia that have exploited the Cray T3D and Cray T3E massively parallel computers at Edinburgh and the Cray T3E/1200 located at Manchester. CCP12 has also worked with the engineering consortia to ensure that both HPCx (link opens in a new window) and HECToR (link opens in a new window) were major successes. CCP12 is also involved in nurturing application areas new to high end computing, such as process engineering, environmental hydraulics, physiological flows, meshless methods, and microfluidics. We have recently established a strong UK activity in the area of non-equilibrium flows, particularly in the field of rarefied gas dynamics.

Industrial support

Computational fluid dynamics is now widely used to improve the understanding of many industrial flows. We support this through the provision of software and training, and through research collaboration. The Computational Engineering Group has been involved in a wide variety of industrial projects, ranging from modelling the particle growth processes in a titanium dioxide reactor for Tioxide plc to the parallelisation of the FLIGHT3D flow solver for British Aerospace.

Microfluidic modelling

The group also provides leading-edge expertise in the modelling and design of microfluidic and nanofluidic devices. This exciting new field offers many modelling challenges because, at such small scales, the fluid may not behave the same as that experienced in the macroscopic world. The Centre for Microfluidics was established within the Computational Engineering Group at Daresbury Laboratory in 1999 with the aim of understanding the fundamental issues to be addressed when analysing flows in micro-devices. To reflect our increasingly broader role in the simulation of micro-devices, the Centre is now known as the Centre for Microfluidics and Microsystems Modelling (C3M).

Read more about the Centre for Microfluidics and Microsystems Modelling ...  (link opens in a new window)

Recent theoretical and computational modelling work in the Centre for Microfluidics and Microsystems Modelling has demonstrated that biomimetic principles (mimicking Nature) could have an important role to play in the design of future lab-on-a-chip systems. Our work has led to the development of a series of generalised biomimetic design rules that can be used to the calculate the optimum channel dimensions in hierarchical fluid distribution systems. 

Read more about biomimetics ...  (link opens in a new window)

Environmental fluid dynamics

The Computational Engineering Group also has considerable experience in the development, application and interpretation of environmental flow models. Expertise within the group covers a wide range of flow regimes including coastal hydraulics, sediment transport and water pollution problems. The environmental modelling work employs a variety of simulation tools including analytical and numerical models and makes use of commercial, open-source and in-house Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes.

Read more about our environmental fluid dynamics activities... (link opens in a new window)

Further information

If you would like more information about the work of the Computational Engineering Group, or if you are interested in collaborating with us, then please contact Professor David Emerson. 

Contact details

  • Professor David Emerson
    Computational Engineering Group
    Scientific Computing Department
    STFC Daresbury Laboratory
    Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus
    Cheshire, WA4 4AD, UK

    Tel: +44 (0)1925 603221
    Fax: +44 (0)1925 603634


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