Building-resolved large-eddy simulations of wind and dispersion over a city scale urban area

School of Engineering

Location:  Boldrewood Campus
Closing Date:  Tuesday 31 August 2021
Reference:  1323420DA

Supervisory Team:    Zhengtong Xie,  Lois  Huggett @metoffice

 Project description

We are in a changing world.  This includes climate change, fast developing urban environments where most of the population lives.  It is crucial that we are able to predict in time street airflows, concentration of pollutants, chemicals and pathogens,  to mitigate any impact and  to be more resilient.

 The project is to develop a computational fluid dynamics tool for city-scale problems with 1m resolution using the open source code PALM-4U and the efficient inflow turbulence generation method (Xie and Castro, 2008) to significantly speed up the numerical simulations for near-field dispersion problems, and therefore to bridge gaps in protection in urban environments or industrial sites.  An off-line coupling will be built between the developed tools and the Met Office UM and NAME codes. 

 Specifically, the objectives of the project are listed below: we will build and test an integrated tool that is much faster than ‘real-time’ for prediction of wind and dispersion over a city scale urban area (about 5km X 5km) in around 1s time resolution and 1m space resolution.  We will validate the developed tool for near-field dispersion using the DAPPLE site (Marylebone Rd – Gloucester Pl, London) data  where the BT Tower meteorological conditions were used as the boundary conditions to drive the large-eddy simulations.  The effect of the variation of wind direction on near-field dispersion will be studied and quantified by using the BT Tower data.

 You will join a large and flourishing aerodynamics group( engaged in a wide range of experimental and numerical studies of turbulent flows.  The project will benefit from close collaboration with other researchers and with colleagues in the collaborative project. You will be able to access the local and national supercomputers, and work closely with the UK Met Office colleagues through placements and regular meetings.   

 If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Zheng-Tong Xie, AFM Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4493.

 Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2021 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

 Funding: Tuition Fees and a stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

 How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2021/22, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD  Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Zhengtong Xie 

 Applications should include

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

Building-resolved large-eddy simulations of wind and dispersion over a city scale urban area

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