Hudson Beare, LT2
Multiscale fluid dynamics in micro/nano flow technologies
There is excitement about the potential of micro/nano flows in future engineering applications, including: nano-engineered coatings (e.g. for drag reduction, deicing and marine bio-fouling), nano structured membranes (e.g. for water purification and molecular sieving), and MEMS devices (e.g. for satellite control or chemical warfare detection). The challenge is that at micro- and nano-scales, fluid systems behave very differently from their macroscale counterparts: we need higher fidelity molecular simulations to resolve the flow, in order to capture the chemical and physical effects. However, molecular simulations are impractical for the whole flow! For this, molecular simulations need to be coupled to conventional macroscale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models, if they are to serve as a practical numerical toolbox for engineering design and for comparing with flow experiments.
In this talk I will present new multiscale fluid dynamics methods that have been developed by our research partnership across the UK. I will focus on just two applications, including a micro vacuum pump with no moving parts that hinges on the thermal transpiration phenomenon, and aligned carbon nanotube desalination membranes. These multiscale methods not only preserve molecular specificity, but are orders of magnitude cheaper than full molecular simulations, making these ideal for simulation-for-design, experiment validation, and enabling new ideas to be tested prior to launching expensive experimental campaigns.
Matthew Borg obtained a first class BEng (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Malta (2002-2006), followed by a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde (2006-2010) with a scholarship from the James Weir Foundation. From 2009-2015 he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Strathclyde, and was Lead Senior Researcher on an EPSRC Programme Grant entitled “Non-equilibrium Fluid Dynamics for Micro/Nano Engineering Systems”. In 2015 he became Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. He currently leads the development of the new hybrid multiscale fluid modelling and engineering applications on a recently awarded EPSRC Programme Grant entitled “Nano-Engineered Flow Technologies: Simulation for Design across Scale and Phase”. He also leads the development of the new software in OpenFOAM through an EPSRC Software for the Future project and an ARCHER Leadership grant.