The CFCFD Group

The Compressible-Flow CFD group is an informal group of academic staff, postdoctoral fellows and postgraduate students within the Faculty of Engineering. For many years, the main participants have been from the Centre for Hypersonics and the Geothermal Energy Research Centre. Our common interest is the simulation of the flow of compressible fluids.

In support of the experimental activities of the Centres, special emphasis is placed on simulations of transient flows relevant to shock tunnel and expansion tube experiments and on quasi-steady flows relevant to turbomachinery. Computation is used for both the design of the experimental facilities themselves, the estimation of test-flow conditions, and the supporting analysis of data obtained from project-oriented experiments such as the MUSES-C aeroshell.

The group also undertakes a number of purely computational projects in which the computer plays the part of a “numerical wind tunnel”. Such projects have included the calibration of a reentry air-data system, for the HYFLEX flight vehicle, the optimisation of nozzle shapes, and the analysis of compressible flows with chemical reactions. These applied studies motivate more abstract modelling efforts that aim to improve our simulation capability by developing novel phenomenological flow models and numerical codes that implement those models.

Compressible flow simulations pose a number of challenges to CFD codes: the fluid density can vary over several orders of magnitude, shocks are extremely strong, and the high temperatures existing behind the shocks lead to a strong coupling of aerothermodynamic and chemical effects. Specialised code development done within the group focuses on dealing with the extremes of hypervelocity flow as produced in the T4 shock tunnel and X-series expansion tube facilities. Locally developed simulation codes exist for: one-, two, and three-dimensional viscous flows; flows with equilibrium and nonequilibrium chemistry; and rarefied flows. These codes are tailored to our specific needs, provide capability that is not available in commercial CFD packages and form a training environment for the next generation of commercial code developers. An additional benefit to building our own software is that we find that the close interaction of CFD modellers and code writers with the experimenters leads us to look deeper into the modelling and instrumentation issues.

The inclusion of strongly interacting physical effects and large variations in length scales leads to the need to run our simulation codes on large, fast computers. The group presently has access to the University of Queensland’s SGI supercomputer, the national APAC facility and a number of local machines.

Current group members

Daryl Bond; James Burgess; Wilson Chan; Kyle Damm; Zac Denman; Elise Fahy; David Gildfind; Rowan J. Gollan; Jonathan Ho; Peter A. Jacobs; Ingo Jahn; Chris James; Xin Kang; Matthew McGilvray, University of Oxford; Heather Muir; Paul J. Petrie-Repar, RPM-Turbo, Brisbane; Peter Roman, Brisbane; Daniel Potter, CSIRO, Newcastle; Jason (Kan) Qin; Anand Veeraragavan; Han Wei; Vincent Wheatley; Lachlan Whyborn.

Past members and associates

Joanna M. Austin, University of Illinois, Urbana; Kevin J. Austin, UQ, Brisbane; Peter Blyton, Brisbane; Chris S. Craddock, BMT, UK; Brian Cook; Jason Czapla; Andrew Denman; Luke Doherty, University of Oxford; Michael Elford; James M. Faddy; Tony Gardner, DLR; Michael Gilmour; Richard J. Goozee; Klaus Hannemann and Monika Hannemann, DLR, Goettingen; Haruko Ishikawa, Tokyo; Carolyn Jacobs, Ecole Centrale-Supelec, Paris; Ian A. Johnston, DSTO, Adelaide; Charles Lilley, Melbourne; Michael N. Macrossan; Andrew M. McGhee, Brisbane; Brendan O’Flaherty, WBM Pty Ltd, Brisbane; Andrew Pastrello; Leon Prucha; Emilie Sauret; Michael Scott; Todd Silvester; Ben Stewart; Joseph Tang, WBM Pty Ltd, Brisbane; Carlos de Miranda Ventura, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge; Tina Weichel, Germany; Michael Wendt, CSIRO, Brisbane; Adriaan Window, Brisbane; Fabian Zander.