Dr David Soper

Dr David Soper

Department of Civil Engineering
Lecturer in Vehicle Aerodynamics

Contact details

Address
Department of Civil Engineering
School of Engineering
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Dr David Soper is a Lecturer in Vehicle Aerodynamics in the School of Engineering and Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education. His research interests lie in the field of applied fluid dynamics and engineering applications through vehicle aerodynamics. He has particular expertise in experimental investigations both at model and full scale. He is the facility manager and operator of the University of Birmingham moving model TRansient Aerodynamic INvestigation (TRAIN) rig for vehicle aerodynamic research.

David completed his PhD in the field of freight train aerodynamics before becoming a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, carrying out a range of academic and consultancy projects at the TRAIN rig. He has been an investigator on projects for EPSRC, BBSRC and industry funded work for many organisations including Arup, Network Rail High Speed, Railway Accident Investigation Branch, Network Rail, Bombardier. This work has include complex full and model scale measurement campaigns supporting high profile project, such as the Twyford aerodynamic incident involving a wheelchair, Crossrail and HS2. Further information can be found at TRAIN RIG LINK.  

The results of this work have been published in over 10 research papers in scientific journals and a similar number of conference presentations.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Civil Engineering 2014
  • MSc in Theoretical and Applied Fluid Dynamics 2010
  • BSc (Hons) Mathematics 2009

Biography

Dr Soper read Mathematics and Theoretical and Applied Fluid Dynamics at the University of Manchester before undertaking a PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham. His novel PhD used the TRAIN rig to look at the aerodynamics of a container freight train, and for the first time was able to characterise key aerodynamic flow characteristics of freight trains. After successfully completing this work he remained at the University of Birmingham as a Research Fellow for 3 years working on a wide range of multi-disciplinary projects funded by EPRSC and BBSRC, as well as industrial funded projects including the aerodynamic incident at Twyford Station in which a wheelchair was drawn into the side of a passing freight train.

Dr Soper took up his position as a lecturer in the School of Engineering in 2017. Since taking on this role he has been involved in a wide range of research and teaching activities. He has continued to work on a range of purely academic research in the field of wind engineering and vehicles aerodynamics, as well as industry funded projects.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Soper is interested in supervising doctorial research students in the following areas:

  • Railway vehicle aerodynamics
  • Wind effects on vehicles
  • The interaction between moving vehicles and infrastructure
  • Wind effects on crops and trees
  • Novel experimental techniques to measure turbulent flows

 His current PhD students are:

  • Panos Illiadis
  • Anam Hashimi
  • Xiadong

Publications

Recent publications

Book

Baker, C, Johnson, T, Flynn, D, Hemida, H, Quinn, A, Soper, D & Sterling, M 2019, Train Aerodynamics: Fundamentals and Applications. 1 edn, Elsevier.

Article

Hashmi, A, Hemida, H & Soper, D 2019, 'Wind tunnel testing on a train model subjected to crosswinds with different windbreak walls', Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics.

Iliadis, P, Soper, D, Baker, C & Hemida, H 2019, 'Experimental investigation of the aerodynamics of a freight train passing through a tunnel using a moving model', Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, vol. 233, no. 8, pp. 857-868. https://doi.org/10.1177/0954409718811736

Robertson, F, Bourriez, F, He, M, Soper, D, Baker, C, Hemida, H & Sterling, M 2019, 'An experimental investigation of the aerodynamic flows created by lorries travelling in a long platoon', Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics.

He, M, Huo, R, Hemida, H, Bourriez, F, Robertson, F, Soper, D, Sterling, M & Baker, C 2019, 'Detached eddy simulation of a closely running lorry platoon', Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics.

Soper, D, Gillmeier, S, Baker, C, Morgan, T & Vojnovic, L 2019, 'Aerodynamic forces on railway acoustic barriers', Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics.

Iliadis, P, Hemida, H, Soper, D & Baker, C 2019, 'Numerical simulations of the separated flow around a freight train passing through a tunnel using the sliding mesh technique', Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit. https://doi.org/10.1177/0954409719851421

Soper, D & Baker, C 2019, 'A full scale experimental investigation of passenger and freight train aerodynamics', Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit.

Baker, C & Soper, D 2018, 'The calculation of the overturning wind speed of large road vehicles at exposed sites', Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Transport. https://doi.org/10.1680/jtran.18.00102

Soper, D, Flynn, D, Baker, C, Jackson, A & Hemida, H 2018, 'A comparison of methods to simulate the aerodynamic flow beneath a high speed train', Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, vol. 232, no. 5, pp. 1464-1482. https://doi.org/10.1177/0954409717734090

Gallagher, M, Morden, J, Baker, C, Soper, D, Quinn, A, Hemida, H & Sterling, M 2018, 'Trains in crosswinds – comparison of full-scale on-train measurements, physical model tests and CFD calculations', Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, vol. 175, pp. 428–444. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jweia.2018.03.002

Baker, C, Soper, D & Jackson, A 2017, 'Full scale measurements of train underbody flows and track forces', Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, vol. 169, pp. 251-264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jweia.2017.07.023

Soper, D, Gallagher, M, Baker, C & Quinn, A 2017, 'A model-scale study to assess the influence of ground geometries on aerodynamic flow development around a train', Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part F: Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit, vol. 231, no. 8, pp. 916-933. https://doi.org/10.1177/0954409716648719

Soper, D, Gallagher, M, Baker, C & Quinn, A 2016, 'The influence of ballast shoulder height on train aerodynamic flow development', Civil-Comp Proceedings, vol. 110.

Soper, D, Baker, C & Sterling, M 2015, 'An experimental investigation to assess the influence of container loading configuration on the effects of a crosswind on a container freight train', Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, vol. 145, pp. 304-317. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jweia.2015.03.002

View all publications in research portal