Dr Zhong-Nan Wang

Dr Zhong-Nan Wang

School of Metallurgy and Materials
Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering

Contact details

School of Metallurgy and Materials
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Zhong-Nan Wang is currently an university lecturer/assistant professor at the University of Birmingham.

His research aims to reduce environmental impacts of aviation and power generation with less noise emission and higher aerodynamic efficiency. The current research is focused on developing and employing high-fidelity CFD and its associated data-driven analysis to predict, understand and reduce noise and loss/drag generated by unsteady turbulent flows.

He is teaching computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and airframe design in the Birmingham aerospace programme.


• PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics, Tsinghua University (joint with Cambridge), 2014
• Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)


Zhong-Nan Wang graduated with the BEng degree (1st) in 2009 from Xi’an Jiaotong University, which is in the C9 league and located in Xi’an that has been the capitals of 13 dynasties in the Chinese history. He was selected into a PhD program in Tsinghua University with joint study at the Whittle Laboratory in Cambridge under the framework of Low Carbon Energy University Alliances (Tsinghua, Cambridge and MIT).

His PhD thesis is on developing low-dissipation and high-resolution numerical methods that enable turbulent eddy-resolving simulation with complex geometries for turbomachinery flows. The developed methods were later incorporated in the Rolls-Royce in-house CFD solver to improve the turbulence eddy resolving capability.

After obtaining the PhD degree in 2014, Zhong-Nan spent a short spell in industry and then returned to Cambridge as a research associate at the Department of Engineering in 2015. In the meantime, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in Trinity Hall (2015-2019) and Lucy Cavendish College (2019-2020). He gradually directed his research into computational aeroacoustics, particularly on developing high-fidelity eddy-resolving methods to tackle the problem of noise generated by turbulence. He collaborated nationally and internationally on this research direction via participating in two EU projects on installed jet noise and fan broadband noise, and being a visiting research fellow on studying fundamental noise source dynamics and optimisation for jet noise reduction in a CTR summer program at Stanford University.

He was awarded “the best use of ARCHER” the UK national scientific computing service ARCHER (currently ARCHER2) and selected into the faces of HPC as a celebration of diversity in HPC community. He was also actively engaged in disseminating his research to general public and won several scientific photo competitions with his research-generated figures, including the ARCHER Image Competition 2018 and the Cambridge Engineering Photography Competition 2020.

In 2020, Zhong-Nan joined the University of Birmingham as a lecturer and is actively involved in developing the Birmingham Aerospace Engineering Programme. In addition to the teaching activities, he is currently setting up a research group and enthusiastically developing his research with particular interest in combining hybrid RANS-LES methods with data-driven approach to predict, understand and reduce turbulence-generated noise.


  • Airframe Design and Flight Dynamics (2nd year undergraduate)
  • Computational Fluid Mechanics (3rd year undergraduate)
  • Individual Research Projects (3rd year undergraduate)
  • Group Research Projects (4th year undergraduate)

Postgraduate supervision

PhD topics to supervise

  • Hierarchical geometry and turbulence modelling of turbomachinery flows
  • High-fidelity simulation of turbulence-generated noise, particularly for fan and jet noise
  • Data-driven analysis of aerodynamic noise sources
  • Data-driven modelling of turbulent flows

I am accepting PhD students and postdoctoral research fellow all year around. The scholarship could be provided via the following routes:

  • School/College scholarship (Home/EU students)
  • CSC scholarship (Chinese students)

Learn more about international scholarship routes.

Please email me if you are interested in pursuing a PhD or a postdoc project with me.


Research interests

  • High-fidelity eddy-resolving simulation, in particular, LES and its hybrids.
  • Unsteady aerodynamics and aeroacoustics of jet and turbomachinery, e.g. installed jet noise and fan broadband noise.
  • Data-driven analysis and modelling of aerodynamic sound sources and turbulent flows, especially from a dynamical system perspective.

Other activities

  • Member of UK Turbulence Consortium (UKTC)
  • Member of ASME, AIAA, and APS
  • Life Member of Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • Visiting academic fellow, University of Cambridge


Recent publications


Möller, FM, Tucker, PG, Wang, Z-N & Morsbach, C 2024, 'Transitional Delayed Detached-Eddy Simulation for a Compressor Cascade: A Critical Assessment', Journal of Propulsion and Power. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.B39344

Gao, Y, Wang, Z-N & Xu, Z 2023, 'A low-dissipative and accurate method of simulating the unsteady mixing process', Chemical Engineering Journal, vol. 460, 141760. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2023.141760

Wang, Z-N & Tucker, PG 2023, 'Hierarchical Turbulence and Geometry Modeling: Case Study for Fan Stage Flows', AIAA Journal, vol. 61, no. 7, pp. 2824-2839. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.J062495

Wang, H, Wang, Y, Liu, H, Xue, F & Wang, Z-N 2022, 'Multi-scale nature of non-blade-order propagating flow disturbances in axial compressors', Chinese Journal of Aeronautics, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 129-142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cja.2021.11.001

Tucker, PG & Wang, ZN 2021, 'Eddy resolving strategies in turbomachinery and peripheral components', Journal of Turbomachinery, vol. 143, no. 1, 010801. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4048697

Wang, Z-N, Tyacke, JC & Tucker, PG 2021, 'LES–RANS study of serrated nozzle jet aeroacoustics for an installed ultra-high-bypass-ratio aeroengine', AIAA Journal, vol. 59, no. 10, pp. 4155-4165. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.J060447

Wang, Z, Proenca, A, Lawrence, J, Tucker, PG & Self, R 2020, 'Large-Eddy-Simulation Prediction of an Installed Jet Flow and Noise with Experimental Validation', AIAA Journal, vol. 58, no. 6, pp. 2494-2503. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.J058921

Tyacke, JC, Wang, Z-N & Tucker, PG 2019, 'LES-RANS of installed ultra-high-bypass-ratio coaxial jet aeroacoustics with flight stream', AIAA Journal, vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 1215-1236. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.J057057

Wang, Z-N, Tyacke, JC, Tucker, PG & Boehning, P 2019, 'Parallel computation of aeroacoustics of industrially relevant complex-geometry aeroengine jets', Computers and Fluids, vol. 178, pp. 166-178. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compfluid.2018.04.039

Wang, Z, Tyacke, J & Tucker, P 2018, 'Large eddy simulation of serration effects on an ultra-high-bypass-ratio engine exhaust jet', Comptes Rendus - Mecanique, vol. 346, no. 10, pp. 964-977. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crme.2018.07.003


Wang, Z, Tyacke, J & Tucker, P 2018, Hybrid LES/RANS Predictions of Flows and Acoustics from an Ultra-High-Bypass-Ratio Serrated Nozzle. in Progress in Hybrid RANS-LES Modelling. HRLM 2016.: Notes on Numerical Fluid Mechanics and Multidisciplinary Design.. vol. 137, Chapter 39, Progress in Hybrid RANS-LES Modelling, vol. 137, Springer, Cham, pp. 465-478. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-70031-1_39

Conference contribution

Möller, FM, Tucker, PG, Wang, Z-N & Morsbach, C 2023, Critical assessment of a transitional delayed detached-eddy simulation model for the prediction of the linear compressor cascade V103. in AIAA AVIATION 2023 Forum., AIAA2023-3421, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA), AIAA AVIATION 2023 Forum, United States, 12/06/23. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2023-3421

Möller, FM, Tucker, PG, Wang, Z-N, Morsbach, C & Bergmann, M 2023, On the prediction of separation-induced transition by coupling delayed detached-eddy simulation with γ transition model. in Proceedings of 15th European Conference on Turbomachinery Fluid Dynamics and Thermodynamics., ETC2023-375, Proceedings of European Conference on Turbomachinery Fluid Dynamics & Thermodynamics, Euroturbo, 15th European Conference on Turbomachinery Fluid Dynamics and Thermodynamics, , Budapest, Hungary, 24/04/23. https://doi.org/10.29008/ETC2023-375

Wang, Z-N, Proenca, A, Lawrence, J & Tucker, PG 2022, LES study of noise and its sources of closely installed jets. in 28th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics 2022 Conference., AIAA 2022-2909, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA), 28th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics 2022 Conference, Southampton, United Kingdom, 14/06/22. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2022-2909

Wang, Z-N & Tucker, PG 2021, Hierarchical modelling of turbulence and geometry for fan flows. in AIAA Aviation 2021 Forum., AIAA2021-2767, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA), AIAA AVIATION 2021 Forum, 2/08/21. https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2021-2767

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