We are active in research in a range of areas, presently focussed on our major role in the EPSRC-funded Keeping the Nuclear Option Open (KNOO) programme.
Welcome to Nuclear Engineering
Here, in collaboration with colleagues in Chemical Engineering, we are undertaking a series of coupled projects studying the reflood phase of large break loss of coolant accidents in PWR's. At the more 'applied' end of the spectrum, we are developing mechanistically coupled models of flow patterns within a reflooding core as the core geometry is altered by the creep of the cladding. We are here working collaboratively with the US NRC, coupling their system thermal hydraulics code TRACE to the British Energy MABEL fuel structural mechanics models. This is underpinned with more fundamental experimental and computational studies - for example:
- Just how do entrained droplets interact with hot walls, and how much cooling do they contribute?
- Just what are the underlying processes that cause cyclical (~1kHz) explosive microscopic vapourisations as a cold liquid attempts to rewet and quench a hot surface?
We are also active participants in the joint Manchester-Imperial Nuclear Engineering Doctorate scheme, with collaborative projects in train in related areas with Serco and MoD.
An additional theme of this group's research concerns the generic aspects of the solution of the field equations of continuum mechanics by numerical computation. Interests span both 'pure' methods development and 'applications'; indeed in reality the distinction is artificial, as new demanding applications themselves require methods development and so on.
In recent years there has been an increased emphasis on integral equation methods, both for solid mechanics applications and for transient, especially electromagnetic wave propagation problems.
A common feature of the problems addressed is that they are large computationally, and a growing fraction of our work involves development of algorithms for massively parallel computers.