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The University of Southampton
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Prof. John Chaplin BSc, PhD

Emeritus Professor

Prof. John Chaplin's photo

Prof. John Chaplin is an Emeritus Professor within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.  

He graduated in Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol in 1967 and obtained a PhD from the same department three years later.

After a research assistant post in hydromechanics at Karlsruhe University, Germany, he joined Rendel Palmer and Tritton, consulting engineers, London, where he supervised research on flow-induced vibrations of the rising sector gates of the Thames Barrier.

In 1974 he was appointed Lecturer in Civil Engineering at the University of Liverpool, where he worked on wave loading on offshore structures and developed a track record for innovative large scale laboratory experiments.

In 1985 he moved to British Maritime Technology Ltd as a research engineer in the same field, and a year later was appointed to the Chair of Hydraulics at City University London.

After well-funded research on a wide range of problems in fluid-structure interaction he became Professor of Applied Fluid Mechanics at the University of Southampton in 1999, where he specialises in water wave mechanics, vortex-induced vibrations, and wave energy conversion. He is no longer taking on research assistants or students.

Research interests

John Chaplin works on fluid flows that are relevant to industry (specifically the offshore, coastal, and marine energy engineering industries) as well as being examples of intrinsically interesting fluid mechanics. Recent projects have focused on instabilities in oscillatory boundary layer flows, the formation of air bubbles and splashes in breaking waves, vortex-induced vibrations of non-linear systems, and interactions of steep waves with fixed and compliant marine structures. Owing to their complexity, understanding of these processes has not been much advanced by computational fluid dynamics but calls for careful experimentation. His current research covers:

  • Wave energy conversion
  • Nonlinear water wave mechanics
  • Vortex-induced vibrations of offshore risers

Research group

Energy and Climate Change

Affiliate research group

Maritime Engineering

Research project(s)

Vortex-induced vibration and structural integrity of deep water flexible risers

This project is focused on flexible risers, whose response is likely to be more complex than that of the vertical tension risers that we have studied before. Numerical modelling is proceeding in parallel with dedicated laboratory experiments taking place in a large recirculating water channel in France.

The hydrodynamics of deformable flexible fabric structures for wave energy conversion

Both laboratory experiments and numerical modelling will help to determine whether the concept of variable geometry can be usefully applied to the difficult problem of converting wave energy into electricity.

Wave trapping by moving bodies

In this project we are comparing measurements of waves radiated by various body motions with analytical predictions. Some interesting differences emerge.

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Prof. John Chaplin
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number : 178/5021/B1

Facsimile: (023) 8067 7519

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