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Rob Kelly

Senior Research and Development Engineer
PhD Project Title
Seafloor gravity currents: flow dynamics in overspilling and sinuous channels


I graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2014 with an MPhys in Mathematical Physics. I have extensive experience in both experimental and computational fluid dynamics and specialise in the simulation of multiphase flows. My previous research includes the modelling of Earth’s heat transport systems via the production of entropy and examining the internal turbulence structure of gravity currents.

Research Interests

My primary research interests lie in the area of geophysical fluid dynamics and how both laboratory and numerical simulations can be combined to further our understanding of environmental flows. For my PhD I am investigating the dynamics of turbidity currents and the processes via which they deposit sediment on the ocean floor. These deposits, submarine channels and fans, form some of the largest accumulations of sediment on the planet, whilst the currents themselves pose a significant geohazard risk.

Why I chose the CDT in Fluid Dynamics

I decided to apply to the CDT for a number of reasons. The opportunity to study for an MSc alongside a PhD allowed me to get a thorough grounding and a broad overview of lots of research areas before committing to a specific project, something that I found to be especially valuable. The idea of being part of a cohort also appealed and it's been great to have people from different academic backgrounds to work alongside.


Kelly, R.W., Dorrell, R.M., Burns, A.D. and McCaffrey, W.D., 2019. The Structure and Entrainment Characteristics of Partially Confined Gravity CurrentsJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans124(3), pp.2110-2125.

LinkedIn Profile

Find out more about me at my Linked in profile.