Tuesday, 16 December 2014

AFM 2014 Post Conference Report


The 10th International Conference on Advances in Fluid Mechanics took place in A Coruña, Spain, organised by the Wessex Institute, represented by Prof Carlos A Brebbia and the University of A Coruña, represented by Prof Santiago Hernandez, with the collaboration of Prof Matiur Rahman of Dalhousie University, Canada.

The series started in 1996 when the first conference was held in New Orleans, followed by Udine (1998); Montreal (2000); Ghent (2002); Lisbon (2004); Skiathos (2006); The New Forest, home of the Wessex Institute (2008); The Algarve (2010) and Split (2012).

The field of fluid mechanics has numerous applications and the conference covers a wide range of topics, including basic formulations and their computer modelling as well as the relationship between experimental and analytical results. The emphasis is on new applications and research currently in progress.

The continuous success of the conference is due to being able to attract high quality contributions in a variety of new topics and applications which is represented by the books published since the first meeting took place in 1996. The papers in these books – like others presented at Wessex Institute conferences – are part of the WIT Transactions on Engineering Sciences series and are archived online in the WIT eLibrary (http://library.witpress.com/), where they are immediately and permanently available to the scientific community.

The Conference was opened by Prof Carlos Brebbia, who explained to the delegates the importance of the conference programme for the work of the Wessex Institute, whose aim is for knowledge dissemination at international level.

The Wessex Institute, Carlos explained, is now nearly 30 years old and well established, as it provides a mechanism for interaction between academic researchers and industry. It is well known for its pioneering work on boundary elements, a technique which gave origin to computer software codes now used as a tool for the analysis and design of many engineering systems.

The focus of the Institute activities – Carlos explained – continues to evolve in response to the needs of engineering sciences. Current applications include analysis of energy systems and aerospace, amongst others.

WIT Press is the publishing arm of the Institute which publishes not only the WIT Transactions containing the conference proceedings but also a series of other books and journals.

The training and research are carried out at the Institute campus in the New Forest National Park, near Southampton in England, where WIT has accommodation for visitors as well as residential researchers. Carlos ended his presentation by wishing all a very successful conference and hoping that the delegates will consider visiting the campus next time they are in the region. This – he said – will allow them to have a better understanding of the activities of the Wessex Institute.

Prof Santiago Hernandez from the University of A Coruña, spoke afterwards, explaining the interest of his research group in fluid mechanics and the types of work they carry out in his laboratory which they were to visit during the conference. Santiago also mentioned some of the attractions of the region, hoping that the participants would be able to visit some of them and learn a bit more about Galicia, a unique part of Spain with its own culture, language and traditions, many of them related to its Celtic roots.

 Conference Topics

The conference papers were grouped in a series of topics as follows:
  • Fluid structure interaction
  • Turbulent flow
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Heat and mass transfer
  • Industrial applications
  • Fluid mechanics and heat transfer
  • Computer simulation and experiments
  • Nano and micro fluids
  • Bubble and drop dynamics


 Invited Presentations

There were a series of invited presentations which helped to enhance the conference:
  • “Applications of 2D URANS in fluid structure interaction problems of rectangular cylinders” by Felix Nieto of the University of A Coruña, Spain.
  • “Turbulence: the covariant structure”, by Trevor Moulden, The University of Tennessee Space Institute, USA.
  • “The equatorial meandering of abyssal ocean currents” by Gordon Swaters, University of Alberta, Canada.
  • “Differentially heated flow from a rotating sphere” by Chun Ho Leung, University of Toronto, Canada.
  • “Assessment of the aerodynamic response of bridge decks by means of 2D Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes simulations” by Santiago Hernandez, University of A Coruña, Spain.


 Special Talk

A special talk was given by Prof Hussain Al-Kayiem of the University of Technology Petronas in Malaysia on the general topic of fluid dynamic developments through aviation history.

He referred to the interesting history of Abbas Ibn Firnas, the first man who attempted to fly in the ninth century. He built a glider that has recently been replicated in the USA. Firnas was from Cordoba, Spain, then a cultural centre as important as Damascus. He was an astronomer, musician, mathematician and poet in his 70th year of age when he flew.

In the XI Century, Elmer in present day Iraq, also tried to fly and much later Ahmed Celebi in the early 1800s glided from one side to the other of the Bosphorus, inspired by the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.

Also in the 19th century a series of German aviators contributed to the development of gliding.

It was the Wright brothers who set up the fundamentals of modern aviation, applying scientific principles and developing ways to deal with control and stability.

Hussain described the tests of these early pioneers who set up the foundations of modern aviation with numerous illustrations and photographs.

 Social Occasions

The Conference offered many opportunities for the participants to interact outside the lecture rooms, through coffee breaks, complimentary lunches and during the conference banquet, amongst others.

The banquet took place in a restaurant renowned for the quality of its Galician cuisine. The starter was octopus, before the main course, consisting of veal marinated in red wine, followed by a dish of different types of sweets and ice cream.

At the beginning of the dinner Carlos proposed a toast to all conference participants and, in particular, to his Co-chairs, to whom the success of the meeting was in great part due. He also explained the unique culture and traditions of Galicia, derived from its Celtic roots.

At the end of the meal Carlos introduced a Galician musical ensemble. They played a series of classical pieces from the region to the delight and surprise of most of the audience. The Galician bagpipes are more melodious than others and their music is always present at every celebration or family event.

The International Scientific Advisory Committee of the conference met over dinner at an excellent restaurant known by the quality of its local cuisine. The dinner consisted of seafood and fish for which Galicia is renowned, accompanied by excellent Albarino white wines. The dinner focused on the topics to be included in 2016, nominations for the committee and possible locations.

 Special Visit

A special visit was arranged for the delegates to see the experimental facilities at the School of Engineering, University of A Coruña. As an introduction, Prof Santiago Hernandez gave a short talk regarding the laboratories at the School and described the experiments recently carried out at the aerodynamics wind tunnel.

The visit not only comprised the wind tunnel but also the basin for coastal and harbour modelling and the laboratory dealing with hydraulics testing.

The delegates were most interested in the laboratories and in particular the way in which physical models of some components – such as bridge deck sections – were used to obtain data for running computer models of large suspension and cable stayed bridges, amongst others.

 Closing of the Conference

At the end of the conference the delegates were invited to visit the Historical Town Hall in La Coruña, where they were received in the Council Chamber by the Lieutenant Major in charge of tourism. She explained about the origins of the town and its Roman past, including the Hercules legend which gave rise to the name of the ancient lighthouse which has become the symbol of the city.

The delegates were shown the different rooms and the unique clock collection which was the passion of a wealthy citizen, who donated it to the city afterwards. The town hall building is very much in daily use and covers a whole side of the Maria Pita town square, one of the nicest in Europe.

The visit was a most fitting end for a successful and very friendly meeting.

 Conference Proceedings

The proceedings AFM 2014 – Advances in Fluid Mechanics X, 472pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-790-2; eISBN: 978-1-84564-791-9) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at www.witpress.com or by email: marketing@witpress.com, telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 82 of WIT Transactions on Engineering Sciences (ISSN: 1746-4471, Digital ISSN 1743-3533). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com

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