PSi RESEARCHER PROFILE
JLR Lead- PSi Theme 2
1. Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am the Technical Specialist for Computational Aerodynamics at Jaguar Land Rover. My main areas of responsibility are the processes we use for aerodynamics simulation, helping designs meet their drag targets for efficiency, lift targets for handling etc., developing new methods and ensuring that we are undertaking the research we need for the future.
Since I've been at JLR, aerodynamics has been my main focus, though I was responsible for the initial methods development work for the aeroacoustics simulation process used in NVH.
My career in aerodynamics started with British Rail’s Research Division. I had started there as a graduate trainee in 1987, after graduating from Leicester Polytechnic with a degree in Physics and Maths and, in 1989, was lucky enough to get my final placement with the Aerodynamics Team. I ended up staying there until 1996, working on early applications of CFD to the aerodynamics of rail vehicles and infrastructure, which included work on the Channel Tunnel design.
I moved into the automotive industry in 1996, joining MIRA. I worked on a wide range of projects, including: automotive aerodynamics development, wind loading of novel antennae systems and reducing the drag of Olympic swimmers. I subsequently joined JLR in 2001.
I am the Chair of the Vehicle Aerodynamics Activity at the SAE, Chair of the EPSRC National Wind Tunnel Facility (NWTF) Advisory Board, and the Vice Chair of the European Car Aerodynamics Research Association (ECARA).
2. Tell us about your role in PSi and what have you been working on?
I am the Theme Lead for "Multi-physics and multi-functional simulation methods" and, working with the Academic Lead, have overall responsibility for ensuring that the projects align with JLR's needs and that the researchers get the support they need from JLR.
Over the last few years I've become increasingly interested in using virtual methods to simulate the problems associated with surface contamination: making sure that vision is maintained through the front side glass and that the build-up of dirt on vehicles does not compromise vision, visibility or aesthetics. This aligns with one of the projects in my Theme (Surface Contamination) and is a topic I'm currently perusing as part of an Engineering Doctorate with WMG, Warwick University.
I'm also working on how we can increasingly capture "real world" effects in aerodynamics simulations. This started with unsteady flows generated by vehicles and has progressed into an interest in turbulent onset flows and their effects on vehicle drag, handling and panel vibration. PSi is helping with this, through the "Real World Aerodynamics" project in Theme 2.
3. What has been your biggest challenge on PSi?
I have a busy role at JLR, so making the time to give PSi the focus it deserves has certainly been a challenge, though a rewarding one. Also, Theme 2 includes a lot of topics that I'd had very little exposure to previously, so it's been fascinating finding out about reduced order modelling, in-cylinder power train simulation, terramechanics and structural modelling.
4. What lessons have you learnt from working on PSi?
The better that we in industry can explain our problems to academic researchers, then the more we get out of the research.
5. How will PSi help your career?
It's certainly given me a broader perspective on engineering simulation, which I think will enable me to collaborate more meaningfully with colleagues from other engineering disciplines.