SAQN offers Travel Grants for activity that will enable network members to build collaborations, make new connections, take advantage of STFC capabilities and assist them in proposal development. Harriet Jones was awarded a grant to deliver a paper at an international conference about her work with STFC Scientific Computing Department on Computation Fluid Dynamics.
Air quality is an issue which affects us all, now more than ever, and as a chemistry student I decided very early on that I wanted to focus on exploring the contributions that chemists can make to research in this field. In the summer of 2021 I had the opportunity of working on a joint project between my university (the University of Chester) and STFC. This project examined air flow and pollutant transport during cooking and cleaning within a test house, the DOMestic Systems Technology InCubator (DOMESTIC). DOMESTIC simulates a full-scale bathroom and kitchen of the type found in an average UK flat, and was built as part of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded study IMPacts of Cooking and Cleaning on indoor Air quality: towards healthy BuiLdings for the future (IMPeCCABLE).
My role within the project was, under the supervision of Dr Stefano Rolfo, to make use of the exceptional computational knowledge base and facilities available at STFC Daresbury Laboratory to develop a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of DOMESTIC. This model was to be capable of replicating both the air velocities and temperatures, and the CO 2 distributions observed in the experimental data.
Modern CFD, as used within scientific settings, harnesses the power of high performance computing (HPC) to analyse fluid flow and associated phenomena via computational simulation. Validated CFD models can be of immense benefit to air quality research, as their predictive capacities provide a complimentary method of analysis that can save both time and resources as part of an integrated computational and experimental approach. My initial results were promising, and model development is currently ongoing.
I was fortunate enough to have my paper on this research, “Modelling Airflow and Carbon Dioxide Dispersion in Domestic and Office Settings Using Code_Saturne”, accepted for presentation at the Parallel Computational Fluid Dynamics (ParCFD) conference. ParCFD is an annual international conference which focuses on new developments and emergent technologies in parallel computing, specifically as applied to the field of computational fluid dynamics. ParCFD 2022 was jointly organised by STFC and Politecnico di Torino and took place in Alba, Italy, from the 24 th – 27 th May 2022. As a student, the registration fee and international travel would have been prohibitively expensive for me, but thanks to an SAQN travel grant I was able to attend. At the conference I benefited from engaging with the wide range of topics on offer, from Atmospheric and Ocean Modelling, to Particle Methods, to Multiphase Flows. It was wonderful to meet and exchange ideas with other delegates from a wide range of specialisms. Many of the talks were directly relevant to my studies, with
presentations on the simulation of wind energy, droplet formation, and airflow resistance in the human respiratory system. Professor Roberto Verzicco spoke on the applications of CFD to improving our understanding of the human body (specifically, the first complete simulation of the human heart) and its response to environmental stresses, while Professor Catherine Noakes (OBE) gave an extremely thought-provoking presentation on her ground-breaking work in modelling airborne infection risks. My own presentation was well received, and prompted some excellent discussions on the furthering of research into air quality within small-scale, domestic settings, and the role that STFC is playing in this.
Going forward, I will certainly be putting the ideas I developed at the conference into practice within my model, as I extend it to include particulate matter transport. I am extremely grateful to SAQN forproviding the financial support which permitted me to gain this excellent experience, enabling me to promote the importance of air quality research and showcase the potential of STFC to further research in