Micro & Nano Flows for Engineering

The micro & nano flows group is a research partnership between the Universities of Warwick and Edinburgh, and Daresbury Laboratory. We investigate gas and liquid flows at the micro and nano scale (where conventional analysis and classical fluid dynamics cannot be applied) using a range of simulation techniques: molecular dynamics,  extended hydrodynamics, stochastic modelling, and hybrid multiscaling. Our aim is to predict and understand these flows by developing methods that combine modelling accuracy with computational efficiency.

Targeted applications all depend on the behaviour of interfaces that divide phases, and include: radical cancer treatments that exploit nano-bubble cavitation; the cooling of high-power electronics through evaporative nano-menisci; nanowire membranes for separating oil and water, e.g. for oil spills; and smart nano-structured surfaces for drag reduction and anti-fouling, with applications to low-emissions aerospace, automotive and marine transport.


EPSRC Programme Grant in Nano-Engineered Flow Technologies

Our work is supported by a number of funding sources (see below), including a 5-year EPSRC Programme Grant (2016-2020). This Programme aims to underpin future UK innovation in nano-structured and smart interfaces by delivering a simulation-for-design capability for nano-engineered flow technologies, as well as a better scientific understanding of the critical interfacial fluid dynamics.

We will produce software that a) resolves interfaces down to the molecular scale, and b) spans the scales relevant to the engineering application. As accurate molecular/particle methods are computationally unfeasible at engineering scales, and efficient but conventional fluids models do not capture the important molecular physics, this is a formidable multiscale problem in both time and space. The software we develop will have embedded intelligence that decides dynamically on the correct simulation tools needed at each interface location, for every phase combination, and matches these tools to appropriate computational platforms for maximum efficiency.

This work is strongly supported by nine external partners (see below).

Current Funding

  • “Nano-Engineered Flow Technologies: Simulation for Design across Scale and Phase” EPSRC Programme Grant EP/N016602/1 (£3.4M)
  • “The First Open-Source Software for Non-Continuum Flows in Engineering” EPSRC grants: EP/K038427/1 K038621/1 K038664/1 07/13-06/17 (£0.9M)
  • “Multiscale Simulation of Interfacial Dynamics for Breakthrough Nano/Micro-Flow Engineering Applications” ARCHER Leadership Project 11/15-10/17 (£60k in supercomputer computational resource)
  • “Skating on Thin Nanofilms: How Liquid Drops Impact Solids” Leverhulme Research Project Grant (£146k funding a 3-year PDRA)


  • Airbus Group Ltd
  • AkzoNobel
  • Bell Labs
  • European Space Agency
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • National Physical Laboratory
  • Oxford Biomedical Engineering (BUBBL)
  • TotalSim Ltd
  • Waters Corporation

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Latest news and blogs

Jason Reese was an Invited Lecturer on the Advanced School in "Multiscale Modeling of Flowing Soft Matter and Polymer Systems” in the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences (CISM), Udine, Italy from 25th to 29th July, 2016 (www.cism.it/courses/C1610/). Jason gave 6 lectures on state-of-the-art multiscale methods, ranging from particle and hydrodynamic techniques for rarefied gas dynamics to hybrid methods for water flows in nanostructured filtration membranes.

Dr. Duncan Lockerby

Prof. Duncan Lockerby, University of Warwick

The micro & nano flows group will be co-organising the next International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics (RGD31). This prestigious and long-running event brings experts together, from across the globe, to discuss the curious behaviour of gas flows at very small scales or at high altitudes (i.e. in rarefied/non-equilibrium conditions).  The conference will be held in Glasgow in July 2018. Download the First Announcement, here.


Dr Srinivasa Ramisetti gives a talk "Slip Flow Over Nano-Structured Surfaces With Entrapped Gas" on 12 September 2016 at the 5th Micro Nano Flows Conference in Milan, Italy.

Dr Benzi John, Senior Computational Scientist Daresbury Laboratory

The rsync utility is a handy and powerful tool that can be used to backup and synchronize files/directories between different locations in an effective way. Although there are other file transfer protocols (like scp) that can carry out similar functions, the main advantage of rsync is that it is comparatively faster and consumes less bandwidth. This is especially true if one needs to transfer large amount of files or very large size files.

rsync is also  great way to restart an interrupted or failed data transfer with very little cost, as it can pick up part way through a large file rather than start from scratch. It can also act as a great synchronization tool, if folders need to be kept in sync at different locations. When used with the -a flag which stands for 'archive', it can preserve most features including time stamps, permissions, and symbolic links.

A typical example of using rsync for copying files from a remote to local system is given below

              rsync --progress -avz user@remote.server:/folder  /local/folder

Besides these, there are several other options like -delete, -exclude and -max-size that can be used in conjunction with rsync to make it tailored to user requirement.

David Emerson

Prof. David R Emerson, Daresbury Laboratory

The 5th MNF2016 conference is being held at the Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) in the wonderful city of Milan. The university was established in 1863 so is over 150 years old and has a long and impressive history. It is also ranked #1 in Italy and highly ranked internationally so a very fitting place for the meeting. Early registration took place on Sunday night in the Aula Magna, a very grand and impressive building.

The start of the conference was Monday but attendees trying to get to the main auditorium were confronted by the main entrance being cordoned off. Why? Well it was closed because Milan were hosting a round of the Italian Master Chef series. Hopes were high for a grand lunchtime meal but these were quickly dashed by the organisers! Clearly an opportunity missed by Master Chef with all of those discerning international palates waiting...

Today was quite busy for the Micro and Nano Flows for Engineering group - we were chairing one of the opening sessions with Dave Stephenson speaking in the afternoon. Tuesday will be equally busy with talks by David Emerson in the morning and Srinivasa Ramisetti in the afternoon. This is complemented by Dr Lei Wu, a colleague from Strathclyde also talking in the morning session.

Alexander Patronis

Dr Alex Patronis, Research Fellow, University of Warwick

If you need to use SSH when on an intermitent connection then check out MOSH. It's much more reliable when on those connections that drop in and out. You can also roam using MOSH, meaning that your session will persist across different connections. It kept me sane while I was on holiday.