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.
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’
- Performance sport engineering;
- Experimental methods for fluid structure interaction problems;
- Performance of sailing vessels;
- Numerical methods for determining resistance and propulsion.
Performance sport engineering
I work 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.
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.
Performance of sailing vessels
My personal interest in the sport of sailing means that I have 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.
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.
Current PhD Students
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
I 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 my passion for yachts with my technical curiosity of how to improve performance.
I 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 my PhD I worked as a research fellow developing experimental methods for assessing the performance of passive adaptive composite structures. I continued to work closely with elite sports and now lead the University’s research partnership with the English Institute of Sport (EIS).
My 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).