Engineering and the Environment

Research Group: Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics

Head of Group: Professor Bharath Ganapathisubramani

The Group is engaged in leading-edge research in fundamental fluid dynamics, computational aeroacoustics, applied aerodynamics and flight dynamics. Our members include experts in theoretical, computational and experimental fluid mechanics and we aim to provide an environment in which these different approaches can be combined and focused on particular topics with practical relevance.

Currently Active: Yes

Group Overview

Wind turbines

Wind turbines

Our research often involves the coordinated use of experiments and simulation, together with associated modelling and theory. Experiments are used to provide fundamental insight into fluid flow and enable validation of computer codes. One of our important research areas is exploring the improvement of computer simulation tools. Practical applications of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are often limited by numerical methods, flow models and a lack of data for validation. The principal difficulties relate to problems involving transition to turbulence and turbulent flow itself.

Recent progress in simulation techniques offers new opportunities for exploitation within the Group, which is at the forefront of developments in direct and large-eddy simulation of turbulence. Currently, there is no universally applicable CFD code. Our strategy is to develop codes suitable for particular fluid flow phenomena. As a result, we have considerable expertise in code development, validation and optimisation for different scalar and parallel computer architectures and we collaborate closely with high-performance computer centres in the UK.

We are particularly strong in the research areas of:

  • high-speed flows
  • fluid mechanics
  • applied aerodynamics and aeroacoustics
  • rotorcraft design and aircraft operations
  • industrial aerodynamics.

We continue to enjoy close connections with the aerospace industry and have achieved Defence and Aerospace Research Partnership (DARP) status in Rotorcraft Aeromechanics and in Modelling and Simulation of Turbulence and Transition for Aerospace. We also host the UK Turbulence Consortium, exploiting national high-performance computing resources for simulation of turbulent flows.

Contact us

  • Aeronautics, Astronautics and Computational Engineering

    Engineering and the Environment
    Building 13 (Tizard)
    University of Southampton
    Highfield Campus
    Southampton SO17 1BJ

    Faculty Administrative officers (job-share): Jayne Angland and Richard Allan

    Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 7658

    Email: aaceu@soton.a.cuk


Web linksWhat's related
    Other University of Southampton sites


    Selected publications associated with this group from the University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints):


    Boppana, V.B.L., Xie, Zheng-Tong and Castro, Ian P. (2012) Large-eddy simulation of dispersion from line sources in a turbulent channel flow. Flow, Turbulence and Combustion, 88, (3), 311-342. (doi:10.1007/s10494-011-9356-x).
    Hutchins, N., Monty , J.P., Ganapathisubramani, B., Ng, H.C.H. and Marusic, I. (2011) Three-dimensional conditional structure of a high-Reynolds-number turbulent boundary layer. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 673, 255-285. (doi:10.1017/S0022112010006245).
    Kuya, Yuichi, Takeda, Kenji, Zhang, Xin and Forrester, Alexander (2011) Multifidelity surrogate modeling of experimental and computational aerodynamic data sets. AIAA Journal, 49, (2), 289-298. (doi:10.2514/1.J050384).
    Huang, Xun and Zhang, X. (2011) Plasma actuators for noise control. International Journal of Aeroaccoustics , 9, (4-5), 679-704.

    Book Section

    Kim, Yusik, Xie, Zheng-Tong and Castro, Ian P. (2011) A forward stepwise method of inflow generation for LES. In, Recent Progresses in Fluid Dynamics Research: Proceeding of the Sixth International Conference on Fluid Mechanics. Sixth International Conference on Fluid Mechanics Melville, US, American Institute of Physics, 137-139.
    Kim, Yusik, Xie, Zheng-Tong and Castro, Ian P. (2011) Numerical study of 3-D effects on dynamic stall of a wind turbine blade. In, Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Wind Engineering. 13th International Conference on Wind Engineering London, GB, Institution of Structural Engineers.


    Almutari, Jaber (2011) Large-eddy simulation of flow around an airfoil at low Reynolds number near stall. University of Southampton, School of Engineering Sciences, Doctoral Thesis , 230pp.

    Research projects

    Research projects associated with this group:

    Jet noise

    Increasing the performance of heat recovery systems using high pressure ratio Organic Rankine Cycle Turbines

    Engineering of surfaces for drag reduction in water with validation using computational and experimental methods

    Modelling next generation CROR aircraft

    Minimising the environmental impact of advanced aircraft designs

    Universality of fine-scale turbulence

    Aerofoil noise

    Towards biologically-inspired active-compliant-wing micro-air-vehicles

    Turbulent spots in high-speed boundary layers

    Spectral leading-edge serrations for the reduction of aerofoil-turbulence interaction noise

    Novel flow simulation methodologies for improved accuracy in unsteady CFD simulations

    All Condition Operations and Innovative Cockpit Infrastructure

    The effects of high speed flows on transonic turbine tip heat transfer and efficiency

    Low-frequency unsteadiness of a shock-wave/boundary-layer interaction

    Evaluation of CFD Methods on Slender Missile Configurations

    Impact of Aerodynamic and Structural Nonlinearities on Gust Loads Prediction

    Development of a novel Navier-Stokes solver

    Hybrid RANS/LES methods

    Aerofoil separation bubbles

    Aspects of Reduced Order Modelling in Nonlinear Systems

    Energy Harvesting for Active Aeroelastic Control

    Remote sensing of turbulence

    Supersonic axisymmetric wakes

    Ab initio hydrodynamic rough surface characterisation with applications

    Jet noise mechanisms

    Shock calculator for multiple shock and expansion waves

    Physics and control of turbulent wall-flows

    Influence of Aerodynamic Models on Flight Simulation

    Experimental and Theoretical Investigations of Lymphatic Fluid Flows and Immunology

    Numerical study of turbulent manoeuvering-body wakes

    JERONIMO: JEt noise of high bypass RatiO eNgine: Installation, advanced Modelling and mitigatiOn


    The group has excellent computational and experimental facilities. A range of high performance workstations are available, supplemented by local parallel computers based on commodity processors. Additionally the UK Turbulence Consortium, which is led from within the group, provides access to the largest supercomputers in the country.

    A range of wind tunnels are used for research. The two largest facilities have test sections measuring 3.5m by 2.6m and 2.1m by 1.7m respectively and are equipped with rolling roads, three-axis laser doppler anemometry and motor drive systems for propeller testing. Further facilities allow research to cover the full spectrum of low-speed, transonic, supersonic and hypersonic flow. A flight simulation laboratory is being used to develop cost effective simulation tools for the aerospace industry.

    Income from commercial use of the wind tunnels is re-invested to maintain the tunnels as state-of-the-art facilities. Our current improvements are working towards tunnel cooling and advanced instrumentation.

    Postgraduate opportunities

    Postgraduate programmes:

    The group offers two MSc programmes: