Challenges of flow prediction in urban areas, London

20 September, 2017 | 18:00 - 19:30

Predicting flow around urban areas.
Predicting flow around urban areas.

About this event

The recently established Urban Fluid Mechanics (UFM) Special Interest Group is an open community consisting of UK universities, industry and governmental organisations. Its interests cover a broad range of issues associated with flows in urban areas, ranging from atmospheric flows over rough surfaces, dispersion of gas and PMs in neutral and non-neutral stratifications, air quality and relevant wind engineering problems.

In this presentation we present the key outcomes from the two-day kick-off meeting which took place earlier this year in which four challenge areas were explored:

(i) very rough boundary layers
(ii) stratification/buoyancy effects
(iii) dispersion in urban boundary layers and indoor-outdoor exchange
(iv) building aerodynamics such as flows around buildings, surface pressure on buildings, effects on pedestrians/vehicles.

Drs Maarten van Reeuwijk and Zheng-Tong Xie will brief the outputs of the workshop discussion, along with some case studies.

Event materials

The following materials are available for download:


Dr Maarten van Reeuwijk

Maarten is a Senior Lecturer in the Fluid Mechanics section in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College. His research interests comprise transport processes in fluids, generally involving wall-bounded turbulence and buoyancy effects, which he studies using Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) and Large-Eddy Simulation (LES).

Maarten's interests in urban fluid mechanics were roused while taking part in the Climate-KIC Innovation project Blue Green Dream (2012-2015), which had as a key focus the use of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) to achieve urban sustainability and climate change resilience.

Maarten was responsible of quantifying the impact of NBS on the local microclimate and air quality. He and his research group have been actively developing high fidelity LES models to study these urban flows with a particular emphasis on buoyancy effects and air quality ever since. He is one of the co-leads of the Urban Fluid Mechanics Special Interest Group (SIG) and is a member of the American Meteorological Society.

Dr Zheng-Tong Xie

Dr Zheng-Tong Xie is an Associate Professor in Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics (AFM) group, University of Southampton (UoS). His research interests include Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) embedded in CFD software for flow, pollutant dispersion and heat transfer in urban environments; coupling between large-scale geophysical flow and small scale turbulent flow. His recent studies include efficient turbulence inflow generation techniques for LES, which has been incorporated in commercial CFD software releases (e.g. Star-CD v4), and adopted by leading design and engineering firms, and used by researchers in academia all over the world.

ZX and his team have developed a comprehensive Numerical Environmental Wind Tunnel Of Newtonian fluid (NEWTON) by integrating their recently developed numerical tools, and have used NEWTON for simulating flow and dispersion over generic urban geometries and the DAPPLE site central London, considering the effects of thermal buoyancy.

His research is funded by NERC/NCAS, EPSRC, Archer/CSE and industry, such as Arup, DSTL. He has published more than 30 papers in leading journals with a rapid growing citations index on Google Scholar (more than 1000 as Jul of 2017). He is one of the co-leads of the Urban Fluid Mechanics SIG of the UK Fluids Network, a member of the UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science, a Fellow of Royal Meteorology Society, an Executive Committee member of UK Wind Eng. Society, and a Scientific Committee member of 6th Int. Sym Comp. Wind Eng., 6th European-African Conf. Wind Eng. and 12 UK Wind Eng. Conf. 2016.