Complex Computations Create Winner at Swiss Conference

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

NUI Galway PhD student Ruairi Nestor, from Ballyglass, Co. Mayo, has won a prestigious international award at a conference in Lausanne, Switzerland. Ruairi received the Libersky Prize for the best research paper by a student at the 2008 SPHERIC International Workshop, for his work in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). CFD is a set of techniques for accurate computer simulations of the flow of gases and liquids. The technology is central in the design of systems from airliners to medical devices. Ruairi's work is the latest stage in a project by a team of NUI Galway researchers who are developing new CFD methods with the potential to simulate ever more complex systems. The research is carried out in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, and involves development of mathematical methods which are then built into new software. Ruairi, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway, has already achieved success in his academic ventures by securing an Embark Postgraduate Research Scholarship. Operated by the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET), the scholarship is designed for researchers in the sciences, engineering or technology at either Masters or Doctorate level. Dr Nathan Quinlan, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, NUI Galway, commented: "The IRCSET scholarships and other such schemes make this kind of research possible in Ireland. There are opportunities for a whole new generation of engineers and scientists to excel in research". Renewable energy and medical implant technology are among the sectors where advanced CFD methods are needed. According to Ruairi, "The techniques we are developing have the potential to improve the design of flow devices such as artificial heart valves or wave energy converters. It is a great honour to receive an award for my work at international level". Dr Nathan Quinlan, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, NUI Galway, commented, "This award is a great achievement by Ruairi and the team, and it also highlights the international quality of engineering research going on at NUI Galway. Computational techniques like the one we're working on are going to be crucial for the creation of new technology in key industries". The paper presented by Ruairi in Switzerland, "Moving Boundary Problems in the Finite Volume Particle Method", was co-authored by fellow PhD student Mihai Basa and their supervisor, NUI Galway's Dr Nathan Quinlan.
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