Dr Nick Croft
Senior Lecturer
Engineering
Telephone: (01792) 602328
Room: Academic Office - A_204
Second
Engineering Central
Bay Campus

The main aim of my research has been to develop efficient and accurate techniques for the solution of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) problems in real life geometries. The approach taken has been to extend the Finite Volume approach (FV), which offers a highly efficient solution procedure on Cartesian meshes, to handle the unstructured meshes required to represent the geometries present in engineering applications. The resulting software has been used in a wide range of application areas but has been primarily employed to simulate processes within metals processing industries. These processes require the solution of not only CFD but also may involve structural deformation, electro-magnetic effects, particulate phases, chemical reactions and radiation effects all off which have been resolved in a single software framework.

The principle approach I’ve taken to extend the FV method to unstructured meshes has been based on the collocated cell centred technique. The extension of this method to unstructured meshes results in an efficient solution procedure, when compared with other unstructured mesh methods, but the accuracy is affected by both the mesh quality and the need to estimate face fluxes from elemental values. Developments in both these areas have improved the accuracy of the approach but there are still bounds to its applicability. I have been involved in the supervision of PhD projects that have investigated the coupling of vertex based FV, which handles unstructured meshes very well but is not very efficient, with cell centred FV to offer a staggered approach to the hydrodynamics and also the use of multi-grid techniques in parallel and their application using unstructured meshes.

Areas of Expertise

  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Metal processing
  • Renewable energy devices (wind and tidal)
  • Drinking water quality

Publications

  1. & Heap Leaching: Modelling and Forecasting Using CFD Technology. Minerals 8(1), 9
  2. & An enhanced disk averaged CFD model for the simulation of horizontal axis tidal turbines. Renewable Energy 101, 67-81.
  3. & Computational prediction of pressure change in the vicinity of tidal stream turbines and the consequences for fish survival rate. Renewable Energy 101, 1141-1156.
  4. & An investigation of micro-mechanisms in hydrogen induced cracking in nickel-based superalloy 718. Journal of Alloys and Compounds 664, 664-681.
  5. & Coupled macroscale-microscale model for hydrogen embrittlement in polycrystalline materials. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 40(6), 2882-2889.

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Teaching

  • EG-194 Introduction to Aerospace Engineering

    This module will introduce students to the fundamental technology of aerospace engineering. It serves as an integrating module, demonstrating the application of the fundamental scientific principles taught in other modules, in an aerospace context. The module provides a foundation for further specialist aerospace modules at levels 5, 6 and 7.

  • EG-M63 Research Dissertation

    To enhance student¿s ability to review state of the art on a given topic and formulate his/her thoughts in clear and concise way in the form of a dissertation. .

  • EGA118 Problem solving for Aerospace Engineers

    The module provides an introduction to some of the problem solving techniques that can be used to address the type of problems that are encountered by aerospace engineers. The module will introduce students to the concepts of structured programming and software engineering. It will then use Matlab to allow the students to practice using the techniques.

Supervision

  • Development of Haynes 282 alloy ring forging route using FEA modelling. (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Will Harrison
  • Aligning energy storage solutions for wind energy convertors with locality (current)

    Student name:
    EngD
    Other supervisor: Prof Johann Sienz
  • Forming Process for High Speed Container Forming Processes (current)

    Student name:
    EngD
    Other supervisor: Dr Will Harrison
  • Research to generate and develop CFD and experimental analysis of fluidic nozzles (current)

    Student name:
    EngD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ben Evans
  • Numerical Modelling Assessment of a Vertical Axis Water Turbine System (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Alison Williams