Mathematical partnership to investigate turbulence

 Dr Sotos Generalis
Dr Sotos Generalis (left) with Professor Friedrich Busse

4 June 2013

An international engineering partnership aims to discover a mathematical solution to the problem of turbulence and with it our ability to control it in the future.

Aston University has been awarded a prestigious Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Award by the Leverhulme Trust to host Professor Friedrich Busse at Aston, over a two-year research period.

Dr Sotos Generalis (Aston University’s Mathematical group) will be working alongside Professor Busse (Bayreuth University, Germany) to study the movements of laminar flow within turbulence. The Award will also include a series of seminars and public lectures from Professor Busse,  which will be branded the ‘Leverhulme Lectures’ and will be open to researchers and the general public.

Turbulence can be experienced in everything from air travel – the mixing of high and low speed air in the atmosphere, through to signal disruption along long-distance optical communication networks.

The distinguished research team believe their research could lead to major breakthroughs across a range of scientific and engineering fields.

Dr Generalis, said;“An understanding of turbulence is one of the great mathematical questions. We have all experienced turbulence - recall the bumpy aeroplane flight - the mixing of high- and low-speed air in the atmosphere. Turbulence is present in all science and engineering, from climate science to optical communication. Improving our understanding of turbulence, understanding how it can be controlled, will facilitate enormous progress in many fields, with huge practical benefits for society.”

He added;“Professor Busse is a world renowned academic in the field of turbulence, his contributions to the understanding of turbulence are enormous. His visit to Aston presents an opportunity to dedicate time to this issue to move towards a fuller mastery of this problem.”

The partnership is another success for Aston’s Mathematical research team, with Dr Generalis and Dr Tomoaki Itano from Kansai University in Osaka, Japan discovering in 2009 a rigid structure existing within the centre of turbulence, known as the Hairpin Vortex  While structures had been found on the ‘edge’ of turbulence it was the first time that scientists had proved that a regimented structure existed in the very centre of turbulence.

For further media information contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications at or 0121 204 4549

Notes to Editors

*Professor Busse, of the Physics Department at Bayreuth University in Germany, is a world-renowned academic. Amongst the many awards that Professor Busse has received in his illustrious career we will only mention here a few, as the full list is exhaustive - Guggenheim Fellow, an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S., an Emil Wiechert Medal of German Geophysical Society, an awardee of Fluid Dynamics Prize of the American Physical Society, an awardee of the Lewis Fry Richardson Medal of the European Geophysical Society, and other distinctions..

Link to -To see the research paper Hairpin Vortex Solution in Planar Couette Flow: A Tapestry of Knotted Vortices, click here.