Coastal vegetation plays an important role in creating habitats, as a carbon sink and by dampening the waves as a natural form of coastal protection.
This project aims to improve the understanding of wave dampening and related changes to boundary layers by vegetation through the use of novel simulation methods.
Resolving many relatively small details like 100-1000s of plant stems in the same simulation framework as several wavelengths across the computational domain is still too computationally demanding using conventional geometry-resolving computational fluid dynamics methods. ALFEA, a recently created tool based on Actuator Line Theory coupled with a Finite Element Structural Solver, shows promise in not only resolving the effect of large numbers of fixed stems, but also offers opportunities to investigate the effect of plant rigidity and deformation under fluid loading.
This project will firstly assess the accuracy and suitability of ALFEA for such simulations by performing validation studies against published data for static and flexible stems.
Based on these initial proof-of-concept results, methods will be developed to further enhance the accuracy and applicability to different coastal and marine plant species and environmental conditions. For this second stage, computational methods will be complemented with experimental investigations in the field or using QUB’s tank testing facilities.
The successful candidate will be supported by training in the use of high- performance computing facilities (QUB’s Tier 2 Kelvin2 facility) and computational fluid dynamics (OpenFOAM) and experimental tank or field-testing methods (Turbulence Probes, Active Acoustic Sensors).
Candidate Background: The successful candidate should have a strong interest and experience in fluid dynamics. Previous experience of OpenFOAM, C++, programming, Linux, HPC, experimental field and tank testing, Active Acoustic Sensors, remote sensing, spatial modelling and GIS is desirable, but not essential.
More project details are available here: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/quadrat-projects/
How to apply: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/how-to-apply/