Dr Ben Thornber

MEng Edin MSS ISU MSc Imperial PhD Cranfield, CEng MRAeS FHEA
Senior Lecturer
School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering

J07 - Mechanical Engineering Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 4665
Fax +61 2 9351 4841

Website Fluid Dynamics Research Group

School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering

Curriculum vitae Curriculum vitae

Biographical details

Dr Ben Thornber graduated with a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and Management Techniques from the University of Edinburgh in 2001. He then undertook a Masters in Space Studies at the International Space University, including a period of work at NASA-JPL. Deciding to focus on aerodynamics, he moved to Imperial College to undertake an MSc in Computational Fluid Dynamics. This led to a position in the Aerothermodynamics department at the European Space Agency. Ben returned to academia at Cranfield University in 2004 to undertake a PhD in Compressible Turbulent Mixing, where he continued research in computational fluid dynamics methods and applications as a Research Fellow and then Lecturer collaborating with a wide range of international engineering organisations. In 2011 he spent 5 months at the University of Sydney as an International Visiting Research Fellow, and returned in 2013 as a Senior Lecturer in Aeronautical Engineering (Aerodynamics) in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering.

He has more than twenty international journal publications, and has collaborated with companies such as Jaguar Land-Rover, Ricardo, EADS, ESA, ARA, AWE, ITER, AMPAC-ISP, Bluebear, Reaction Engines Ltd, Red Bull Technology, Williams F1 and MBDA.

Research interests

Dr Ben Thornber's research in computational fluid dynamics aims to develop more efficient and accurate ways of simulating the flow of gases and liquids. The resulting understanding can then be used in a diverse range of applications, from reducing drag in road vehicles, calculating lift of aircraft and designing rockets that achieve the required thrust, through to understanding fluid mixing in supernovas.

"Turbulence and high-speed flows are of fundamental importance.

"Turbulence is everywhere - it's what mixes the milk in when we stir our coffee, makes an aeroplane shudder during flight and causes the fuel in a car engine to burn efficiently.

"And an understanding of high-speed flows is essential to designing cars, planes and rockets, for example. Without it we would have no flight, no access to space (so no GPS) and no understanding of the physics of explosions.

"It's surprising how complicated the airflow over an object can be. Currently, using the world's fastest supercomputers, we can only simulate a few centimetres of a civil aircraft wing. At the current rate of increase in computing power we will only be able to simulate a whole wing around the year 2050. So I'm developing software and models to enable us to simulate such things using today's computing power.

"There's real satisfaction in knowing that the algorithms I've developed predict reality accurately - as an engineer, I never get bored with that. However, some of the most interesting projects are where reality behaves unexpectedly - then simulation is an essential means of understanding what's really happening.

"I've been working in this field for more than a decade now, and joined the University of Sydney in mid-2013. I find it a very supportive environment for cutting-edge research. I also have great colleagues here, who I'm looking forward to collaborating with."

Teaching and supervision

AERO4260 - Aerodynamics 2

Associations

  • Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the UK EPSRC Peer Review College
  • Member of the Combustion Institute

Awards and honours

  • Osborne Reynolds prize for best UK thesis in Flow, Turbulence and Combustion (2008)

Selected grants

2015

  • Understanding Turbulent Mixing in Inertial Confinement Fusion; Thornber B, Youngs D, Clark D, Zhou Y, Williams R, Pino J; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Probyn, M., Thornber, B. (2014). An Investigation into Non-linear Growth Rate of 2D and 3D Single-Mode Richtmyer–Meshkov Instability. In Alessandro Talamelli, Martin Oberlack, Joachim Peinke (Eds.), Progress in Turbulence V : Proceedings of the iTi Conference in Turbulence 2012, (pp. 53-57). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
  • Shimada, Y., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2010). Large Eddy Simulation of Turbulent Jet Flow in Gas Turbine Combustors. In Deville, Michel (Eds.), Turbulence and Interactions - Notes on Numerical Fluid Mechanics and Multidisciplinary Design, (pp. 337-343). Germany: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Journals

  • Shanmuganathan, S., Youngs, D., Griffond, J., Thornber, B., Williams, R. (2014). Accuracy of high-order density-based compressible methods in low Mach vortical flows. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 74(5), 335-358. [More Information]
  • Probyn, M., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D., Williams, R. (2014). An Investigation into Non-Linear Growth Rate of Two-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Single-Mode Richtmyer-Meshkov Instability using an Arbitrary-Lagrangian-Eulerian Algorithm. Journal of Fluids Engineering, 136(9), 091208-1-091208-7. [More Information]
  • Robertson, L., Becot, A., Gaylard, A., Thornber, B. (2014). Automotive Drag Reduction Through Distributed Base Roughness Elements. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 553(2014), 267-272. [More Information]
  • Rana, Z., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2013). Dynamics of sonic hydrogen jet injection and mixing inside a scramjet combustor. Engineering Applications of Computational Fluid Mechanics, 7(1), 13-39.
  • Thornber, B., Zhou, Y. (2012). Energy transfer in the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability. Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), 86, 056302-1-056302-11. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D., Williams, R. (2012). Physics of the single-shocked and reshocked Richtmyer–Meshkov instability. Journal of Turbulence, 13(10), 1-17. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Bilger, R., Masri, A., Hawkes, E. (2011). An algorithm for LES of premixed compressible flows using the Conditional Moment Closure model. Journal of Computational Physics, 230(20), 7687-7705. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D., Williams, R. (2011). Growth of a Richtmyer-Meshkov turbulent layer after reshock. Physics of Fluids, 23(9), 095107-1-095107-15. [More Information]
  • Shimada, Y., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2011). High-order Implicit Large Eddy Simulation of gaseous fuel injection and mixing of a bluff body burner. Computers and Fluids, 44, 229-237. [More Information]
  • Rana, Z., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2011). On the importance of generating accurate turbulent boundary condition for unsteady simulations. Journal of Turbulence, 12(35), 1-39. [More Information]
  • Rana, Z., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2011). Transverse jet injection into a supersonic turbulent cross-flow. Physics of Fluids, 23, 046103-1-046103-21. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Starr, M., Drikakis, D. (2010). Implicit large eddy simulation of ship airwakes. Aeronautical Journal, 114(1162), 715-736.
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D., Williams, R. (2010). The influence of initial conditions on turbulent mixing due to Richtmyer–Meshkov instability. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 654, 99-139. [More Information]
  • Drikakis, D., Hahn, M., Mosedale, A., Thornber, B. (2009). Large eddy simulation using high-resolution and high-order methods. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, 367(1899), 2985-2997. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Mosedale, A., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D., Williams, R. (2008). An improved reconstruction method for compressible flows with low Mach number features. Journal of Computational Physics, 227(10), 4873-4894. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2008). Implicit Large-Eddy Simulation of a Deep Cavity Using High-Resolution Methods. AIAA Journal, 46(10), 2634-2645. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D. (2008). Large-eddy simulation of multi-component compressible turbulent flows using high resolution methods. Computers and Fluids, 37(7), 867-876. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2008). Numerical dissipation of upwind schemes in low Mach flow. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 56(8), 1535-1541. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Williams, R., Youngs, D. (2008). On entropy generation and dissipation of kinetic energy in high-resolution shock-capturing schemes. Journal of Computational Physics, 227(10), 4853-4872. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Thornber, B., Bilger, R., Masri, A., Hawkes, E. (2011). Coupling the Conditional Moment Closure Model to a Fully Compressible Large Eddy Simulation Algorithm. 7th Mediterranean Combustion Symposium (MCS-7), Sardinia, Italy: International Centre for Heat and Mass Transfer.
  • Rana, Z., Drikakis, D., Thornber, B. (2010). Investigation of Sonic Jet Mixing In A Stream Of Supersonic Cross-Flow Using Large Eddy Simulations. 27th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) 2010, New York: Curran Associates, Inc.

2014

  • Shanmuganathan, S., Youngs, D., Griffond, J., Thornber, B., Williams, R. (2014). Accuracy of high-order density-based compressible methods in low Mach vortical flows. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 74(5), 335-358. [More Information]
  • Probyn, M., Thornber, B. (2014). An Investigation into Non-linear Growth Rate of 2D and 3D Single-Mode Richtmyer–Meshkov Instability. In Alessandro Talamelli, Martin Oberlack, Joachim Peinke (Eds.), Progress in Turbulence V : Proceedings of the iTi Conference in Turbulence 2012, (pp. 53-57). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
  • Probyn, M., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D., Williams, R. (2014). An Investigation into Non-Linear Growth Rate of Two-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Single-Mode Richtmyer-Meshkov Instability using an Arbitrary-Lagrangian-Eulerian Algorithm. Journal of Fluids Engineering, 136(9), 091208-1-091208-7. [More Information]
  • Robertson, L., Becot, A., Gaylard, A., Thornber, B. (2014). Automotive Drag Reduction Through Distributed Base Roughness Elements. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 553(2014), 267-272. [More Information]

2013

  • Rana, Z., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2013). Dynamics of sonic hydrogen jet injection and mixing inside a scramjet combustor. Engineering Applications of Computational Fluid Mechanics, 7(1), 13-39.

2012

  • Thornber, B., Zhou, Y. (2012). Energy transfer in the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability. Physical Review E (Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics), 86, 056302-1-056302-11. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D., Williams, R. (2012). Physics of the single-shocked and reshocked Richtmyer–Meshkov instability. Journal of Turbulence, 13(10), 1-17. [More Information]

2011

  • Thornber, B., Bilger, R., Masri, A., Hawkes, E. (2011). An algorithm for LES of premixed compressible flows using the Conditional Moment Closure model. Journal of Computational Physics, 230(20), 7687-7705. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Bilger, R., Masri, A., Hawkes, E. (2011). Coupling the Conditional Moment Closure Model to a Fully Compressible Large Eddy Simulation Algorithm. 7th Mediterranean Combustion Symposium (MCS-7), Sardinia, Italy: International Centre for Heat and Mass Transfer.
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D., Williams, R. (2011). Growth of a Richtmyer-Meshkov turbulent layer after reshock. Physics of Fluids, 23(9), 095107-1-095107-15. [More Information]
  • Shimada, Y., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2011). High-order Implicit Large Eddy Simulation of gaseous fuel injection and mixing of a bluff body burner. Computers and Fluids, 44, 229-237. [More Information]
  • Rana, Z., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2011). On the importance of generating accurate turbulent boundary condition for unsteady simulations. Journal of Turbulence, 12(35), 1-39. [More Information]
  • Rana, Z., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2011). Transverse jet injection into a supersonic turbulent cross-flow. Physics of Fluids, 23, 046103-1-046103-21. [More Information]

2010

  • Thornber, B., Starr, M., Drikakis, D. (2010). Implicit large eddy simulation of ship airwakes. Aeronautical Journal, 114(1162), 715-736.
  • Rana, Z., Drikakis, D., Thornber, B. (2010). Investigation of Sonic Jet Mixing In A Stream Of Supersonic Cross-Flow Using Large Eddy Simulations. 27th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) 2010, New York: Curran Associates, Inc.
  • Shimada, Y., Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2010). Large Eddy Simulation of Turbulent Jet Flow in Gas Turbine Combustors. In Deville, Michel (Eds.), Turbulence and Interactions - Notes on Numerical Fluid Mechanics and Multidisciplinary Design, (pp. 337-343). Germany: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D., Williams, R. (2010). The influence of initial conditions on turbulent mixing due to Richtmyer–Meshkov instability. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 654, 99-139. [More Information]

2009

  • Drikakis, D., Hahn, M., Mosedale, A., Thornber, B. (2009). Large eddy simulation using high-resolution and high-order methods. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, 367(1899), 2985-2997. [More Information]

2008

  • Thornber, B., Mosedale, A., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D., Williams, R. (2008). An improved reconstruction method for compressible flows with low Mach number features. Journal of Computational Physics, 227(10), 4873-4894. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2008). Implicit Large-Eddy Simulation of a Deep Cavity Using High-Resolution Methods. AIAA Journal, 46(10), 2634-2645. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Youngs, D. (2008). Large-eddy simulation of multi-component compressible turbulent flows using high resolution methods. Computers and Fluids, 37(7), 867-876. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D. (2008). Numerical dissipation of upwind schemes in low Mach flow. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 56(8), 1535-1541. [More Information]
  • Thornber, B., Drikakis, D., Williams, R., Youngs, D. (2008). On entropy generation and dissipation of kinetic energy in high-resolution shock-capturing schemes. Journal of Computational Physics, 227(10), 4853-4872. [More Information]

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