University of Leicester academic receives prestigious engineering fellowship

Posted by ap507 at May 27, 2015 10:00 AM |
Professor Stephen Garrett awarded Leverhulme Fellowship for his research into fluid mechanics

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 27 May 2015

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A University of Leicester mathematical engineer is among seven researchers to have received a prestigious Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering this year.

The Fellowship is awarded to talented engineering researchers to help support their careers while they focus solely on the development of new technologies.

Professor Stephen Garrett, of the Departments of Engineering and Mathematics, aims to improve the understanding of the development and control of turbulence in fluids, which could help to improve the design of wind turbines and jet engines with his research.

He said: “The Fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to focus on my scientific research for 12 months. This prestigious award is a flattering recognition of my research in fluid mechanics and I’m very pleased to have dedicated time to push on with existing and new research projects.

“My own research is typically concerned with the fundamental physics of flows relevant to the aerospace sector. I hope that my collaborative approach involving theoreticians, modellers and experimentalists from around the world will hasten the progress of fundamental science to its application in the aerospace technology we use.”

Professor William Milne FREng, Chair of the Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships selection panel said: “Academic career progression often comes with increased administrative and teaching commitments, at the expense of the time available for personal research projects.

“The Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships are awarded to relieve mid-career academics of the additional workload to enable them to go back and personally focus on their research.

“Like all research supported by the Academy, the Fellowships are designed to foster world class engineering that is directly useful to industry and society.”

The award is designed to cover the cost of a replacement member of staff for the period of the Fellowship to cover the awardee's administrative and teaching responsibilities.

Professor Garrett added: “While the award is clearly great news for me, another aspect of it is to support an early-career academic for a year. We’ve been very fortunate to recruit Paul Griffiths, an extremely talented young mathematical engineer. Paul has a rapidly growing international reputation in non-Newtonian fluid mechanics and will join my research group in the Engineering department in August. This is great news for the Thermofluids group and the department.”

Other projects awarded by the Academy this year include potentially life-changing medical applications, like a new device to measure intra-cranial pressure in trauma victims, a brain-controlled system to help people manage neuro-rehabilitation at home and a next-generation virtual reality trainer for surgeons with an enhanced sense of touch.


Notes to editors:

For more information contact: Professor Stephen Garrett,

Giorgio De Faveri at the Royal Academy of Engineering,

Professor Stephen Garrett– University of Leicester

Understanding transition in boundary-layer flows over rotating geometries

Many of the innovations we rely on in today’s world would have been impossible without a fundamental understanding of fluid mechanics, the study of how fluids such as liquids and gases move and interact.

The application of this knowledge in engineering design has enabled faster cars, quieter and more efficient planes and even cooling systems in our computers. The energy to power these innovations also depends on developments in this field, whether generated from fossil fuels, nuclear, wind turbines or hydropower. None of these would be possible without a sound understanding of fluid mechanics.

A particularly important area of study is the transition of a smoothly moving fluid to chaotic turbulence. Turbulence, in fact, can be promoted to achieve better mixing of fuels in engines, or delayed, in aerodynamic applications, to reduce drag.

Professor Garrett, a mathematical engineer, is seeking to understand the mechanisms by which rotating fluids undergo a transition to turbulence. Examples of these transitions are found at the air intake of jet engines, over wind turbines, or even within chemical reactors.

Understanding the physics behind these transitions is fundamental to improve the design of structures where a transition to turbulence has to be avoided or it is required.

Professor Garrett works with experimentalists and computer modellers around the world to ensure an understanding of all aspects of this field, from the fundamental physics through to engineering design and manufacture.

For more information about this year’s Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellows and their research in detail visit:

  1. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering.

We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

We have four strategic challenges: Drive faster and more balanced economic growth; foster better education and skills; lead the profession; promote engineering at the heart of society.

  1. The RAEng/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships are part of the Royal Academy of Engineering's initiatives and grants to support engineering research. The Fellowships are awarded to mid-career academics to free up their time from administrative and teaching responsibilities for up to a year and so allow them to concentrate on research.

    The award is designed to cover the cost of a replacement member of staff for the period of the Fellowship to cover the awardee's administrative and teaching responsibilities.

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