Dr Shian Gao


Shian GaoDr Shian Gao
Lecturer in Thermofluids,Thermofluids and Environmental Research Group

Contact details

T: +44 (0)116 252 2536
F: +44 (0)116 252 2525
E: sg32@le.ac.uk

Location: Room 131, Michael Atiyah Building

Personal details

  • BSc (Petroleum, China)
  • PhD (London)

I'm a third year tutor and project coordinator.


• Gao, S., Leslie, D.C. and G.F. Hewitt (2008), Improvements  to the modelling of two-phase flow and heat transfer in a transient nuclear reactor analysis code, Applied Thermal
Engineering, Volume 28, Issues 8-9, Pages 915-922.
• Gao, S., Leslie, D.C. and G.F. Hewitt (2004) Improvements to the modelling of two-phase flows in a transient reactor analysis code, Advances in Multiphase Flows, Vol. 2, 228-232.
• M Al-Harbi, H V Atkinson and S Gao, (2007), Gas stirred ladle: multi-phase-species mathematical model, The Iron & Steel Technology Conference and Exposition, 7–10 May, 2007, Indianapolis, USA.
• McMullan, W.A., Gao, S. and Coats, C.M. (2007) A comparative study of inflow conditions for two-and threedimensional spatially developing mixing layers using Large Eddy Simulation, Int. J. for Numerical Methods in Fluids, Volume 55, Issue 6, Pages 589-610.
• Voke, P.R. and Gao, S. (1998) Numerical study of heat transfer from an impinging jet. Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, Vol 41, Issue 4-5, pp. 671-680.


My research interests are in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and heat transfer, focusing mainly on large eddy simulation (LES) and direct numerical simulation (DNS) of turbulent flow and heat transfer, two-phase flow and heat transfer, and their industrial applications. Advanced research has been conducted on mixing layer flows, boundary layer transitions, near wake flows, thermal impinging jets and swirling jets. The emphasis is on developing novel simulation techniques for unsteady flows related to applications of engineering importance.

Dr Shian Gao - movie slice

A movie slice showing the instantaneous temperature distribution in an enclosed jet

I was a member of the LES/DNS research groups at Queen Mary of London University and Surrey University, and conducted successfully two major LES research projects funded by EPSRC, DERA and Nuclear Electric. I was also a member of a four-university consortium (Surrey, QMW London, Leicester and Cambridge) which collaborated successfully on an  EPSRC supported research project on large-eddy simulation of turbulence. The members of the consortium shared common research interests in the development of improved  numerical techniques for DNS/LES of turbulent flows and heat transfer and their application to a variety of industrial and environmental problems.

The computer codes developed by the consortium are widely used by research groups both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Among my current projects is one supporting the design of novel types of gas-turbine combustion system using LES  techniques, supported by Alstom Power and in collaboration with Dr Chris Coats. The project involves developing LES numerical techniques to simulate complex turbulent flows with significant recirculation and separation in relation to gas turbine combustion systems.

Numerical simulations have also been carried out on dynamic LES of mixing layer flows. The simulations performed have been among the first to apply the LES technique in 3-D to mixing layers developing spatially (rather than in time) and are thus among the first that can be compared directly with experimental data. They are also the first numerical simulations of any type to have followed the detailed evolution of the coherent structures through the mixing transition and into the high-Reynolds-number regime beyond and to have shown the same change in the growth mechanism as was  observed in the experiments. Further work in this area will be expanded to accommodate density variation and to study the effects of combustion heat release.

Dr Shian Gao - contours

Isovorticity contours for simulated spatially developing mixing layer

The advanced CFD techniques have also been applied to more wide applications in different science and engineering areas. One project in collaboration with Prof. Chris Binns of the Physics Department is employing such techniques to analyse the flow and thermal fields of nanoscale metal particles in a gas aggregation source.

Further work on two phase flow and heat transfer modelling has been successfully carried out on Ladle Degassing process, funded by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, in collaboration with Professor Helen Atkinson. The project involves dynamic coupling of a commercial CFD code with a full thermodynamic prediction package which allows the accurate prediction of complex phase and flow  distributions. My other research covers topics on bio-fluid dynamics, oil and gas engineering, dynamic simulations of multiphase flow systems, finite volume simulation techniques and CFD code developments.

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