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Thomas Goodfellow

European Patent Attorney
PhD Project Title
Layering in Fluid Dynamical Systems


I graduated with a BEng in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Leeds in 2014 before pursuing a PhD in Fluid Dynamics. My third year project looked at the aerodynamic development of a jet-powered land speed record vehicle. Ansys Fluent software was used to simulate airflow and investigate design changes to improve performance. I then undertook a summer research project in the University during which I studied the aerodynamic performance of a novel vertical axis wind turbine, further developing my knowledge and experience with commercial CFD packages.

Research Interests

My research interests currently lie in the area of Astrophysical and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. I am looking at a particular class of problem in which two competing elements contribute to the density of the fluid, eg. heat and salt in the ocean. This is known as double-diffusive convection (DDC) and it has a tendency to form layers or 'staircases' of constant density in such systems. DDC is believed to be of importance in the oceans, magma chambers and in stellar cores. Another, ostensibly different system which produces layering is rotating turbulence in which a staircase in potential vorticity is formed, manifested by strong jets.

My research explores the entire nature of staircase formation through various theoretical and numerical models of fluid turbulence.

Why I chose the CDT in Fluid Dynamics

I chose the CDT in Fluid Dynamics as the taught Masters year would allow me to tailor a number of modules towards my research interests. Essential programming, mathematics and experimental skills were developed in the first year while gaining exposure to other areas of fluids which I wouldn't otherwise. Indeed this led me to select a project in applied mathematics, as opposed to aeronautics. This is enhanced by the 'cohort' approach in which students on the course come from different backgrounds - such as Civil Engineering, Mathematics and Physics - and are keen to learn from one another.

Find out more about me by visitng my personal website.