University of Maryland

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Johan Larsson

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Research

I take a 'Renaissance' approach to research and teaching (in fact, to most things in life), and have been striving to build a fairly broad background within the fields of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, applied mathematics, and computational science. I view the knowledge I have gained in these and other areas as a diverse toolbox, and relish any opportunity to apply these tools to new problems in new areas. Richard Feynman famously said that "Turbulence is the most important unsolved problem of classical physics", which neatly sums up why I have chosen to work in fluid mechanics.

My main research vision is to bring high-fidelity turbulence simulations to the point where they can be routinely applied to real problems in engineering practice. Despite 30-40 years of work on high-fidelity simulations, the current state-of-the-art is still far from directly applicable to real problems. For example, the current state-of-the-art can not accurately and efficiently handle boundary layers at high Reynolds numbers, which basically prevents the (accurate) use of LES for all external and many internal aerospace and naval applications. A second example is that the de facto gold standard in subgrid modeling, the so-called dynamic procedure, is only really well-defined when there is at least one homogeneous spatial direction -- while the averaging process can be well defined in general geometries, the filtering step can not.

some current and past projects