15 Jan 2024
Undergraduate student wins NAFEMS/IMechE prize for fourth year MEng project
Saffron Pougher won the Outstanding Project Award for her project thesis ‘Bubbles and Streaks Under Breaking Ocean Waves’
Alumna Saffron Pougher, who completed the MEng in Engineering Science last year, has won a prize for her fourth year project thesis “Bubbles and Streaks Under Breaking Ocean Waves”.
Saffron was awarded the NAFEMS / IMechE Engineering Simulation Techniques Outstanding Undergraduate Project Award 2022/2023. The Award is open to anyone completing a project that involves engineering simulation techniques such as finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, or multibody dynamics.
Saffron’s project investigated small-scale flow patterns, in particular those known as ‘streaks’, that have been observed when waves break. Wave breaking is known to be a cause of very high hydrodynamic loads on ocean structures, and is also a key way in which gas exchange occurs between the ocean and the atmosphere - however the process is not understood completely. Improving understanding of breaking waves could lead to developments in understanding loads exerted by waves, as well as the role of the ocean in our changing climate.
The project involved producing breaking waves in the laboratory using the Department’s wave flume, and observing them using infrared imagery, to evaluate the flow patterns produced. Comparable wave packets were then generated by direct numerical simulation to compare against the laboratory results, and assess the applicability of such simulations for investigating features such as streaks.
She says, “I am delighted to have received this award from NAFEMS and the IMechE. I truly enjoyed working on this project, which gave me the chance to explore in depth a subject I find so fascinating, and to develop skills in both experimental and numerical investigation. This award has given me increased motivation to continue to explore engineering simulation techniques and their applications. I am very excited to see that my project has received this recognition, and look forward to the opportunities that this award brings. I would like to thank my supervisors, Professor Wouter Mostert and Dr Mark McAllister, for their invaluable support throughout the project.”
Since completing her MEng Saffron is now working as a Graduate Engineer at Arup, in their Bridges & Civil Structures team.