Director's Colloquium

Fluctuations and energy dynamics in complex fluid flows

Associate Professor James McClure
Virginia Tech National Security Institute
Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Systems with complex microstructure occur routinely in nature. When stimulated, spatially heterogeneous systems often develop a characteristic temporal response due the non-equilibrium energy dynamics. In multiphase fluid flows, capillary forces that act at the interfaces between fluids are responsible for nonequilibrium pressure fluctuations that complicate the development of macroscopic flow theory. Mesoscopic methods such as the lattice Boltzmann method provide a powerful way to study the behaviour in such systems. Constructed as a discrete approximation to the Boltzmann transport equation, lattice Boltzmann methods are an excellent tool to study the dynamics of complex fluids, including multiphase systems, flows in porous media, and other flow problems where energy barriers are present. This talk will consider the application of mesoscopic methods to study non-equilibrium fluctuations during immiscible displacement, which are demonstrated to be non-ergodic at typical laboratory timescales. Averaging in both time-and-space is presented as a path forward in such scenarios.


A/Prof. James McClure joined the Advanced Research Computing division at Virginia Tech in 2012 as a computational scientist. He received his BSc and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A/Prof. McClure has extensive experience in heterogeneous parallel programming. His research work is focused on the development of theoretical and numerical methods to study transport phenomena in porous media, especially using digital rock physics. Digital rock physics allows the microstructure of real geologic materials to be observed directly, providing an opportunity to extract quantitative information about a wide range of physical processes. He is particularly interested in software development for digital rock physics as a way to connect experimental data sources to multiscale averaging theories. Codes that he has developed include lattice Boltzmann simulators for single and multiphase flows, image analysis methods, and an upscaling framework to track the behavior of phases, interfaces and common curves on complex systems.


This Colloquium will be hosted by the Department of Electronic Materials Engineering

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Meeting ID: 941 1170 1666
Password: 664 425

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