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Oxford engineering students win prizes at Osborne Reynolds Day, showcasing doctoral research projects in fluid mechanics

Dr Tianning Tang (Tim) was awarded the overall Osborne Reynolds prize for his doctoral research project on extreme water waves, with Tom Hickling and Dr Dante McGrath selected as runners-up.

The three Oxford winners: Dante (left), Tianning (centre), Tom (right)

Oxford students recently won prizes at the annual Osborne Reynolds Day, which showcases the best recently completed doctoral research projects in fluid mechanics in the UK. The event is hosted by the University of Manchester and organized together with the UK Fluids Network.

Students from any area of fluid mechanics can enter and, following a complex two-stage review process by an expert assessment panel, six finalists are invited to present their work to a wide-ranging audience on the day. An expert panel of senior fluids academics assesses the presentations to award the Osborne Reynolds prize and identify runners-up.

Many congratulations to Dr Tianning Tang (Tim), who was awarded the overall Osborne Reynolds prize for his doctoral research project “On the Probability and Averaged Shape of Extreme Water Waves”. Tim’s research covered a wide-ranging experimental, statistical and simulation analysis of extreme wave events which was conducted under the supervision of Professor Tom Adcock.

Two runner-ups were identified: Tom Hickling for his work on “Computational Modelling of Rotating Cavity Flows” which was performed at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute (OTI) under the supervision of Professor Li He; and Dr Dante McGrath for his work on “How Sprays Burn: The Role of Fuel Droplets in Laminar Flame Propagation” which he performed at the University of Cambridge. Dante is now working with Professor Matt McGilvray at the OTI.

Tim, Tom and Dante will now go forward as the UK candidates to the da Vinci competition organized by ERCOFTAC – the European Research Community On Flow, Turbulence And Combustion which spans academia and industry, supports Special Interest Groups and runs conferences and workshops across Europe. The nurturing of early career talent is central to its mission and the annual da Vinci competition brings together the best recent PhD graduates selected from across Europe.

The 2022 Osborne Reynolds keynote address was given by Professor Richard Willden on “Tidal Stream Energy: Blockage, Multi-scale Flows, Efficiency and Innovation”. This rounded out a dominant Oxford performance and showcased the strength of this research area in Oxford.

Congratulations to all and best of luck to Tim, Tom and Dante as they compete in the da Vinci competition.