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Turbulence -- the complex and chaotic behaviour of air and water in motion -- is all around us in our atmosphere, oceans, rivers, and myriad engineered systems. It has a profound impact on the overall processes within these environments and as a result has grabbed the attention of scientists for over a century.

This site overviews our research led by Dr. Michael Heisel, a lecturer in Civil Engineering at the University of Sydney, offering a narrow window into research efforts of the broader scientific community to better understand turbulence and its effects on our natural world. Our work uses a range methods to investigate these flows, including wind tunnel experiments and large-eddy simulations. The pages herein detail our team, examples of our ongoing and past research, links to our scholarly articles, our research facilities, available data and code, and opportunities to join the team as a PhD student. We encourage you to go explore our turbulent environment, both within this site and in the real world!

As a final note, we are not the only team studying fluid dynamics at the University of Sydney. We are affiliated with the Centre for Wind, Waves, and Water  and we also have colleagues in the Fluid Dynamics Research Group.

phytoplankton bloom, credit Joshua Stevens

Turbulence is most easily observed from the surface of oceans and rivers. This satellite image shows dispersion of a phytoplankton bloom off the coast of Argentina. Credit Joshua Stevens and the NASA Earth Observatory.


November 2023: collaborative team awarded 2024 LIEF grant!

Michael and colleague Kapil Chauhan are co-investigators on a 2024 Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) grant awarded by the Australian Research Council to measure atmospheric turbulence! The grant team is led by University of Adelaide and includes folks from University of Melbourne and Queensland University of Technology.

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