Prof. Jason M Reese
Regius Professor of Engineering, University of Edinburgh
My research activities focus on multiscale fluids engineering systems: nano- and microfluidics, interfacial and other non-continuum flows, high-speed (rarefied) aerodynamics, and rapid granular/gas flows.
The engineering of flow systems across great length- and time-scales will play an important role in meeting societal challenges over the next 30 years; for example, nano-filtering seawater to make it drinkable for water-stressed populations, and embedding micro and nano devices in aeroplane and ship surfaces to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Multiscale and multiphysics dynamics is characteristic of these areas of emerging technological importance, but affects the overall behaviour of the fluid flows in poorly-understood ways. This makes their simulation, design and control extremely difficult. The dynamics of the constituent fluid particles or molecules is key to understanding the overall flow behaviour.
I am investigating new ways of modelling and simulating these flows from both molecular and hydrodynamic viewpoints. In particular, developing theoretical insight into the underlying non-continuum physics, and numerical simulation tools ranging from compressible fluid codes running extended hydrodynamic models through to highly-parallel molecular dynamics and DSMC codes. All of these numerical tools are released open-source in the OpenFOAM code.
I am also developing new kinds of hybrid software that combine particle and hydrodynamic solvers under one methodology.
Specific current research includes:
designs for aligned-nanotube membranes for water purification and gas separation;
insight into water interactions with moving surfaces, applicable to drag reduction coatings;
exploiting scale separation in time and space to enable efficient hybrid computations;
the effect of molecular mean free path variation near a surface on gas micro flows;
near-surface rarefaction and molecular adsorption effects on gas micro flows;
high-order diffusive mechanisms in gas kinetic theory;
using particle and molecular methods to probe flows of engineering importance.
While there is much work still to be done, our research results show the promise of our approaches in accurately capturing the behaviour of non-continuum and non-equilibrium flows in complex geometries in a range of applications.
I am the Regius Professor of Engineering in the University of Edinburgh.
Following research positions in the Technische Universitaet Berlin, and the University of Cambridge, in 1996 I became a Lecturer in the University of Aberdeen; and then Lecturer and ExxonMobil Engineering Fellow in King’s College London in 2001. I moved to the University of Strathclyde in 2003 as the Weir Professor of Thermodynamics & Fluid Mechanics, and was latterly Head of the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. In 2013 I was appointed to the Regius Chair in Edinburgh University, the ninth incumbent of this position since it was established by Queen Victoria in 1868.
In addition to my engineering science research on micro- and nano-scale flows (see below), I am also involved in the industrial application of fluid mechanics. I co-founded Brinker Technology Ltd in 2002 to commercialise a novel leak detection and sealing system for oil/gas pipelines and wellheads.
In 2003 I won the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Engineering (Leverhulme Trust), in 2004 the 36th Bruce Preller Prize Lectureship (Royal Society of Edinburgh), and I was a MacRobert Award Finalist (Royal Academy of Engineering) in 2006. I am a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and of the Institute of Physics.