Dr Nick Croft
Senior Lecturer
Engineering
Telephone: (01792) 602328
Room: Academic Office - A_204
Second Floor
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. S.A., R., M., T., R., E., B., G., T.N., C., M., C., Croft, N., Rolland, S. Performance assessment of a vertical axis turbine in a marine current flume tank and CFD modelling International Journal of Marine Energy 12 35 45
  2. Djambazov, G., Bojarevics, V., Pericleous, K., Croft, N., Croft, N. Finite volume solutions for electromagnetic induction processing Applied Mathematical Modelling 39 16 4733 4745
  3. Hayes, C., Croft, T., Campbell, A., Douglas, I., Gadoury, P., Schock, M., Croft, N. Computational modelling techniques in the optimization of corrosion control for reducing lead in Canadian drinking water Water Quality Research Journal of Canada 49 1 82 93
  4. Hayes, C., Croft, T., Croft, N. An investigation into the representativeness of random daytime sampling for lead in drinking water, using computational modelling Journal of Water Supply: Research and Technology—AQUA 61 3 142
  5. J., E., M., C., T., N., L., M., Croft, N. Applications of Multi-Physics Modeling in Metallurgical Processing Resources Processing 55 3 132 138

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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-M62 Group project (Aerospace)

    This module enables students to participate in a group activity involving an integrated holistic approach to achieve a solution to a specific engineering problem. In most instances it will involve either direct interaction with industry or will be an industrially-related project. Issues other than providing a purely technical solution to the problem will have to be considered in order to achieve a satisfactory outcome to the project.

  • EG-M63 Research Dissertation (Aerospace)

    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

  • Aligning energy storage for wind energy convertors with locality (current)

    Student name:
    EngD
    Other supervisor: Prof Johann Sienz
  • Numerical Modelling Assessment of a Vertical Axis Water Turbine System (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Alison Williams
  • Research to generate and develop CFD and experimental analysis of fluidic nozzles (current)

    Student name:
    EngD
    Other supervisor: Dr Ben Evans
  • Engineering Evaluation of Mechanical Component on a Crossflow Wind Turbine (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Alison Williams
  • Predicting tearing failure in aluminium beverage can production through finite element analysis (awarded 2020)

    Student name:
    EngD
    Other supervisor: Dr Will Harrison
  • Development of Haynes 282 alloy ring forging route using FEA modelling. (awarded 2019)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Will Harrison