Fluid Mechanics

Fluid Mechanics research builds on a fundamental understanding of the motion of fluids in order to address a variety of real world problems. In this context, “fluids” range from water and air, through to slurries, waves and weather, and this allows us to study diverse topics such as wind-induced forces on buildings, vehicle aerodynamics, non-Newtonian fluids in water treatment works, and the behaviour of waves on a beach.  We have even been known to predict the motion of flight of cricket balls*! Our research is grouped into two themes - wind engineering and hydraulic engineering - and it ranges from blue skies, theoretical thinking right through to highly applied projects, such as modelling the flow of air around the university’s famous clock tower.

* C.J. Baker, 2010 “The calculation of cricket ball trajectories”. Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, Proceedings of the IMechE C, 224, 1947-1958, DOI: 10.1243/09544062JMES1973

Civil Engineering Research - Fluid Mechanics - Wind Engineering

Research activities in Wind Engineering

The discipline of Wind Engineering grew out of the activities of a number of research establishments around the world in the 1950’s and 1960’s, including the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington and the Building Research Establishment in Watford. In its broadest sense the term Wind Engineering refers to the positive and negative effects that wind can have on the built and natural environment. 

Civil Engineering Research - wind engineering - Train aerodynamics

 Wind engineering at Birmingham spans a variety of interests and includes: 

  • train aerodynamics
  • wind energy; 
  • non-synoptic storm simulation; 
  • climate change; 
  • agricultural meteorology.

Professor Chris BakerProfessor Charalampos BaniotopoulosProfessor Mark SterlingDr Hassan HemidaDr Andrew Quinn and Dr Pedro Martinez-Vazquez combine to create an experienced research group, with expertise covering physical modelling, numerical modelling and full-scale work. 

Notable recent and current projects include: 

Civil Engineering Research - Wind engineering - Crops

Research activities in Hydraulic Engineering

We have a long history of high quality hydraulic engineering research at Birmingham and have established a unique database of velocity and boundary shear measurements (Flow Database) that are free to download to calibrate numerical models.  This is a field in which Professor Mark SterlingDr Hassan Hemida and Dr Andrew Quinn are expert. 

Current projects range from the fundamental to the highly applied, and include:

Civil Engineering Research - Hydraulic engineering

Opportunities relevant to this theme

This active research group is always looking for good postgraduate research candidates. For general enquiries, please contact us (details below) or search on the Postgraduate Research Degrees web pages.

We also offer taught postgraduate programmes, including:

Staff in the Fluid Mechanics group

Enquiries to

For postgraduate research opportunities, please contact
Ms Helen Booth, Tel; +44 (0)121 414 4160, Email h.r.booth@bham.ac.uk

For postgraduate taught courses and MScs, please contact
Ms Sarah Williams, Tel +44(0)121 414 5136, Email s.l.williams@bham.ac.uk

To discuss a new research project or to explore applying the group’s research to your business, please contact
Dr David Boardman, Knowledge Transfer Manager, Tel +44(0)121 414 5086, Email d.i.boardman@bham.ac.uk