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Fluid flows through porous obstacles

Project Description

Environmental and industrial fluid mechanics problems often involve flows through porous obstacles. Examples of practical applications include flow through atmospheric and aquatic vegetation, offshore structures, buildings exposed to flooding and arrays of turbines in tidal channels. Our ability to predict such flows crucially depends on understanding of the key processes occurring at the interface between ‘free flow’ approaching porous obstacle and ‘obstructed flow’ or ‘porous media flow’ through the obstacle. Despite several decades of extensive research our understanding of these processes is still incomplete.

This project aims to improve knowledge and understanding of flow through porous obstacles by producing a detailed experimental data set which will include uni-directional and oscillatory flows through porous obstacles with simple regular geometry. These data will be used to identify mechanisms responsible for mass and momentum transfer between the ‘free flow’ and the ‘porous media flow’, and to establish new turbulence closure relationships suitable for simulating these phenomena. The data set will also serve as a benchmark for testing numerical simulation models of fluid-porous interactions.

The successful candidate should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Civil engineering, Mechanical engineering, Physics

Essential background: Fluid mechanics

Knowledge of: Turbulence, Porous media flows


Formal applications can be completed online: You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct person for processing.


Informal inquiries can be made to Professor D Pokrajac (d;) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ().

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project, it is for self-funded students only.


Pokrajac, D. and de Lemos, M.J.S. (2015) Spatial averaging over a variable volume and its application to boundary layer flows over permeable walls, ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering 141(4), Article number 04014087.
Horton, N., Pokrajac, D. (2009) Onset of turbulence in a regular porous medium: An experimental study, Physics of Fluids 21(4), Article number 045104.
Pokrajac, D., Manes, C. (2009) Velocity measurements of a free-surface turbulent flow penetrating a porous medium composed of uniform-size spheres, Transport in Porous Media 78(3): 367-383.

Related Subjects

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

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