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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Dr Joseph Banks MEng, PhD

Lecturer in Ship Science/Maritime Engineering

Dr Joseph Banks's photo

Dr Joseph Banks is a Lecturer in Ship Science/Maritime Engineering at the University of Southampton. He specialises in experimental and computational fluid dynamics with particular interests in high performance sport and fluid structure interactions.

He graduated from the University of Southampton in 2009 with a First Class degree in Ship Science (Yacht and Small Craft).  Growing up as a keen sailor this combined his passion for yachts with a technical curiosity of how to improve performance. He continued to study for a PhD working with British Swimming and UK Sport during the build-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.  This work developed experimental tools for coaches and athletes to use in a pool environment and numerical simulations investigating the resistance components of a swimmer.

Following his PhD he worked as a research fellow developing experimental methods for assessing the performance of passive adaptive composite structures. He continued to work closely with elite sports and now lead the University’s research partnership with the English Institute of Sport (EIS).

Joseph’s research primarily focuses on the fluid dynamics involved in the resistance and propulsion of ships, yachts, athletes and their equipment (including swimming, sailing and rowing). 

Research interests

Performance sport engineering

Joseph works closely with the English Institute of Sport (EIS) to improve athletes’ performance through a greater understanding of the physical mechanisms of resistance and propulsion. This research mainly focuses on the sports of Swimming, Sailing, Rowing and Bob-skeleton and supports British Athletes at the Olympic games.

Measuring the resistance of a swimmer
Measuring the resistance of a swimmer

Experimental methods for fluid structure interaction problems

Increased use of composite materials is leading to more flexible structures being designed to operate in a marine environment (for example composite propellers and hydrofoils). The ability to quantify the impact of structural deformations is crucial to maximising their performance. Developing experimental methods for measuring the structural deformations (such as Digital Image Correlation) can be combined with flow field measurements (such as Particle Image Correlation) to understand how the fluid and structure interact. 

Combined DIC and PIV measurements of flexible foils in the wind tunnel
Combined DIC and PIV measurements of flexible foils in the wind tunnel

Performance of sailing vessels

Joseph’s personal interest in the sport of sailing means that he has keen professional interest in understanding the physics behind a yacht’s performance. This predominantly focuses of the fluid dynamics involved in sailing, from the aerodynamic forces that propel the vessel forward to the hydrodynamic forces generated by the hull, keel or hydrofoils.

Flow field measurements around using PIV
Flow field measurements around using PIV

Numerical methods for determining resistance and propulsion

Computational fluid dynamics allows detailed simulations of the flow structures that develop around a body moving through the water. This allows the physical causes of different resistance components and propulsive mechanisms to be quantified and their interactions understood. These techniques can be used to help improve the efficiency of a commercial ship, the performance of lifting surfaces in sailing or minimise a swimmer’s drag.

CFD simulations of the flow around a freestyle swimmer
CFD simulations of the flow around a freestyle swimmer

Research group

Maritime Engineering

Affiliate research group

Performance Sport Engineering Lab

Research project(s)

Gothenburg 2010: rans simulations of the multiphase flow around the kcs hullform

Tailored composites for deformation control in unsteady fluid-structure interactions

Admissions Tutor for Ship Science degree programs

Editorial Board member for Journal of Sailing Technology

Secretary of the 28th International Towing Tank Conference (ITTC) specialist committee ‘Energy Saving Methods’

Secretary of the 29th International Towing Tank Conference (ITTC) specialist committee ‘Combined CFD/EFD methods’

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Articles

Conferences

SESS3027: Module lead for ‘Yacht and high performance craft’

SESS6067: ‘Renewable energy from environmental flows’

SESS6063: ‘Advances in Ship Resistance and Propulsion’ – Towing tank lab coordinator

SESS2020: ‘Ship Resistance and Propulsion’ – Towing tank lab coordinator

Dr Joseph Banks
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number: 176/3009

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