The FLuD group hosts seminars by researchers from the University of Sydney and further afield.

2019 Seminar Series

Seminar 1
Turbomachinery Component Simulations: Challenges, Physical Insight and Modelling
Prof. Richard Sandberg (University of Melbourne)
Time / Place – 1 – 2pm Tuesday 26th of March 2019 / J07 Room S316

Abstract – CFD predictions are becoming increasingly important in the design of gas turbines because correlation based methods are unable to further improve efficiency and laboratory experiments with the required fidelity are prohibitively expensive. Although first-principles based simulations are most accurate, the excessive computational cost preclude their use in a design context and therefore modelling is required. However, the inaccuracies introduced by RANS-based CFD approaches limits the impact CFD can have on technology development. In this presentation, some of the inherent model errors will be described and a novel machine-learning based approach will be introduced that uses high-fidelity data to improve turbulence closures. It will be shown that closure models developed using the gene-expression programming approach outperform traditional models both for the cases they were trained on and for cases not seen before. The challenges associated with running high-fidelity simulations will also be presented and some physical insights gained from those will be shown.
Bio –  Professor Sandberg is the Chair of Computational Mechanics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Melbourne. His main interest is in high-fidelity simulation of turbulent flows and the associated noise generation in order to gain physical understanding of flow and noise mechanisms. He also uses the data to help assess and improve low-order models that can be employed in an industrial context, in particular by pursuing novel machine-learning approaches. He received his PhD in 2004 in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Arizona and prior to joining the University of Melbourne, he was a Professor of Fluid Dynamics and Aeroacoustics in the Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics research group at the University of Southampton and headed the UK Turbulence Consortium (, coordinating the work packages for compressible flows and flow visualisations and databases. He was awarded a veski innovation fellowship in July 2015 entitled: “Impacting Industry by enabling a step-change in simulation fidelity for flow and noise problems”.

Seminar 2
Long Term Fate of Contaminated Sediments in Sydney Harbour
Dr. Joanna Aldrige (Sydney Informatics Hub)
Time / Place1 – 2pm Thursday 9th of May 2019 / J07 Room S316
Abstract –  Sydney Harbour has inestimable cultural and recreational value to millions of Sydneysiders, however has been adversely influenced by industrialization over 200 years. The presence of contaminants including  dioxins from historical industrial activity in the bottom sediments and tissue concentrations of marine species prompted closure of the upper harbour to recreation and commercial fishing since 2007. The current distribution and long-term fate of this contamination is unknown. This study investigates the potential for future dispersal using a high-resolution hydrodynamic model coupled with ocean wave and sediment transport modules, which will be calibrated with recent and newly collected field data and implemented on supercomputing. The study will produce maps of current and predicted contaminant distributions and concentrations. Management strategies can then be evaluated in collaboration with state and local agencies and the Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences to inform the Sydney Harbour Coastal Management Program.

Bio – Dr Aldridge is an applied mathematician and coastal geomorphologist with 15+ years’ experience. She now runs the Data Science team of 18 research engineers at Sydney Informatics Hub, a Core Research Facility of the University of Sydney, and holds research affiliations with both the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney and the School of Civil Engineering, Griffith University. Throughout her career, she has mainly worked in engineering and environmental consulting across a range of industries, including ports and mining, oil and gas, disaster and environmental management, insurance and local government. She is an experienced numerical modeller of hydrodynamics, ocean waves and sediment transport and water quality, and published my own models on tropical cyclones, east coast lows and is a model developer of the Delft-FM hydrodynamic model suite.