The first JFM Symposia in China began today in Shenzhen with an opening from the President of Southern University of Science and Technology, Shiyi Chen, praising the prestige and reputation of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics as he welcomed us to the futuristic Shenzhen campus. Publications in JFM from Chinese authors have grown exponentially over recent years, accounting for around 10% of the articles published in 2018, and Professor Chen challenged the researchers present to increase this number even further.

A fantastic day of talks kicked off with JFM deputy editor Charles Meneveau from Johns Hopkins University describing the benefits of LES versus DNS when looking at applications in engineering. He explained that whilst LES simulations are quicker and can be done on a laptop (or even a smartphone) the coarse grid means that most localised events will be missed by the averaging process. Fortunately, he did provide a suggested solution that consisted of additional model features that could be added to resolve features at smaller scales.

Lian-Ping Wang of Southern University of Science and Technology then took to the stage to discuss mesoscopic simulations of multiphase and turbulent flows, which included a detailed explanation of the volume-averaged TKE budget equations. He was followed by Batchelor prize-winner Detlef Lohse from the University of Twente, who gave an inspiring talk investigating the evaporation of a drop of Ouzo (a traditional Greek alcohol), which proved to be particularly popular amongst the audience of young researchers and local professors. He tells us “it’s simply a mixture of water, ethanol and oil” which if nothing else suggests that he has never tried real Ouzo…

The morning session concluded with Xun Huang of Peking University discussing the role played by the serrated feathers of owls in silent flight and how this knowledge can be used to help to reduce noise from jet engines. After describing the various wing types tested in his model, Professor Huang admitted that the symmetrical sawtooth shape remained his favourite.

Following a traditional lunch served in the university cafeteria, the afternoon began with JFM rapids editor Colm Caulfield and his talk ‘The best of TIMES’ (Turbulence, Instability, Mixing and Exact States in stratified shear flows). The talk included a whirlwind tour of the theory of turbulent mixing, including an explanation of the Kolmogorov scale where viscosity dissipates turbulent energy and the larger Osmodov scale where turbulent eddies are no longer affected by stratification. Professor Caulfield also gave a fascinating explanation of the two fundamental types of mixing in a stratified fluid: overturning for weak stratification and scouring via vertical vortex structures when the stratification is stronger.

Local speakers Yu Zhou from Harbin University and Anderson Shum of the University of Hong Kong then presented their work on the use of artificial intelligence in fluid mechanics and the electro-coiling of liquid jets respectively, with Professor Shum’s videos of electrospinning ribbons a particular highlight.

The final session of the day began with another speaker from our host institution, with Mingping Wan explaining his work on solar winds and their relationship with magnetohydrodynamics and plasma turbulence. This preceded the hotly anticipated panel discussion with JFM editors which began with Charles Meneveau once again taking to the podium to present his insights as deputy editor on the question ‘what does a JFM editor look for when assessing a paper?’ This was followed by a Q&A session with the four editors present: Colm Caulfield, Detlef Lohse, Charles Meneveau and Ki-Qing Xia. The debate centred around the review process which was laid out in detail by Professor Meneveau, who described the several page narrative written by each reviewer on a paper as “a paper on a paper”.

Concluding the symposium was a poster session, with the JFM editors selecting an unexpected two prize winners, citing the extremely high quality of the work on display. Congratulations to Kuanyu Chen of Peking University and Zhibei Wang from the Southern University of Science and Technology for their excellent work.

Finally, we must say thank you once again to our amazing hosts at the Southern University of Science and Technology and to the attentive and inquisitive attendees for an incredible day of science. We cannot wait the second symposium in Hangzhou!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *