Research in fluid mechanics, combustion, and engineering physics encompasses a broad spectrum of problems in aerodynamics, ocean-related flows, turbulence, reacting flows, multi-phase and particulate flow hydrodynamics. The research is relevant to a variety of engineering disciplines ranging from the design of airplanes and automobiles, to aerospace guidance and control, to the prediction of the global climate, to bio-fluid dynamics, to flow over magnetic tapes and disks, to industrial fluid mechanics.
Current research areas consist of a combination of experimental, theoretical, and computational programs addressing turbulent flows, the mechanics of two-phase flow, rheology of suspensions, laminar and turbulent combustion, the mechanics of drops and biological cells, flow in porous media, geophysical flows, propellant combustion, microgravity flows, chemical kinetics of combustion systems, vortex dynamics, flow instabilities, enviromental fluid mechanics. Research in the area of combustion is based at the Center for Energy Research.
Collaborations with faculty at UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography provide a unique environment for graduate students in the Program in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. The laboratory research facilities consist of several wind tunnels and water channels equipped with modern, nonintrusive optical measurement techniques such as laser Doppler velocimeters, phase Doppler particle analyzes, laser diffraction particle size analyzers, laser-induced fluorescence imaging, and three-dimensional particle tracking. The computational research is carried out on state-of-the-art SUN, HP, and IBM workstations with direct access to the facilities of the San Diego Supercomputer Center.