Synthetic turbulence, Kinematic Simulation

ERCOFTAC - European Research Community on Flow, Turbulence and Combustion

Purpose and focus of the SIG


Synthetic models were developed in turbulence as an alternative to stochastic methods or direct numerical methods for Lagrangian applications.

SIG 42 was set up after it was realised that many research teams in Europe were using `synthetic turbulence models' and that there was a need form more interaction and unification between the different groups.

Most teams working on synthetic turbulence will be using Kinematic Simulation (KS).  KS is a unified Lagrangian model of one- and two- and indeed multi-particle turbulent dispersion where incompressibility is enforced by construction in the generation of every particle trajectory, the energy spectrum is prescribed according to the type of turbulence considered and where the effects of small-scale flow structure on Lagrangian statistics are taken into account.

As such, KS should be contrasted with Lagrangian stochastic models of turbulent diffusion which do not incorporate small-scale flow structure effects and which are by construction different models for one- and two-particle statistics.

KS is widely used in various domains, including

  • Lagrangian aspects in turbulence mixing/stirring,

  • particle dispersion/clustering,

  • aeroacoustics.

  • Flow realisations with complete spatial, and sometime spatio-temporal, dependence, are generated via superposition of random modes (mostly spatial, and sometime spatial and temporal, Fourier modes), with prescribed constraints such as: strict incompressibility (divergence-free velocity field at each point), high Reynolds energy spectrum, ...

    Recent improvements consisted in incorporating linear dynamics, for instance in rotating and/or stably-stratified flows, with possible easy generalisation to MHD flows, and perhaps to plasmas. On the other hand, the absence of "sweeping effects" in present conventional KS versions is identified as a major drawback in very different applications: inertial particle clustering as well as in aeroacoustics.

    Though most of the work involved in SIG 42 is done using KS, the SIG is open to other `synthetic turbulence'. People using other approaches to study particle dispersion or also welcome to participate in SIG 42's activities in particular to contribute to the different workshops.


    A non-exhaustive list of topics the group is interesting in:

  • improvement of the modelling of small scales advection by largest scales (sweeping),

  • introduction of strongly anisotropic energy spectra with better randomization of the wave-vector,

  • analogy with initialisation of DNS/LES and with "Particle Representation Models",

  • use of specific modes consistent with geometric constraints, e.g. solid walls, instead of 3D spatial Fourier modes,

  • improvement of KS as a subgrid model for LES : Lagrangian diffusion and aeroacoustics,

  • competition between "wavy" (really spatio-temporal, propagating) and "vortical" structures of the velocity field for organizing Lagrangian turbulence diffusion, from fluid to plasma turbulence,

  • other "synthetic" models, e.g. to afford intermittency, possibly very different from conventional KS.

  • Steering committee

    Pr W. Brevis
    School of Engineering Catholic University of Chile
    Santiago de Chile, Chile
    Dr C. Cambon
    Ecole Centrale de Lyon
    36, av. Guy de Collongues
    69134 Ecully cedex, France
    Dr T. M. Michelitsch
    Institut Jean le Rond d'Alembert, Université Pierre et Marie Curie
    Paris, France
    Dr F. Nicolleau (Coordinator)
    University of Sheffield, Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Mappin Street
    Sheffield S1 3JD, United Kingdom
    Dr A. F. Nowakowski
    University of Sheffield, Department of Mechanical Engineering
    Mappin Street
    Sheffield S1 3JD, United Kingdom
    Pr J.-M. Redondo
    Fisica Aplicada UPC,
    Campus Nord B5. Barcelona 08034, Spain
    Pr M. Reeks
    School of Mechanical & Systems Engineering
    Stephenson Building
    Claremont Rd
    University of Newcastle upon Tyne
    Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU,  United Kingdom
    Pr J. C. Vassilicos,
    Imperial College of Science, London, Department of Aeronautics
    Prince Consort Road, South Kensington
    London SW7 2BY, United Kingdom


  • Ahmed Abou ElAzm                                           Head to Ships Engineering Department, M.T.C., Cairo, Egypt - CFD Lab., Department of Mechanical Engineering McGill University, Montréal, Qc, Canada
  • Jean-Régis Angilella                                         Université de Caen Normandie, Caen, France
  • Andrew Baggaley                                               University of Newcastle, School of Mathematics and Statistics, UK
  • Michael Bestehorn                                              Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus - Senftenberg, Germany
  • Wernher Brevis                                                   School of Engineering Catholic University of Chile Santiago de Chile, Chile
  • Claude Cambon                                                  Ecole Centrale de Lyon, LMFA, France
  • Robert Castilla,                                                   UPC, Terrasa, Spain
  • Sergei Chernyshenko,                                       Imperial College, London, UK
  • M. Amirul. I. Khan                                                Institute of Public Health & Environmental Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, UK
  • Yi Li                                                                       University of Sheffield, Department of Mathematics, Sheffield Fluid Mechanics Group, Sheffield, UK
  • Elena Meneguz,                                                  Met Office: Exeter, Devon, UK
  • Thomas Michelitsch                                           Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Institut, Jean le Rond d'Alembert, Paris, France
  • Franck.C.G.A. Nicolleau                                   University of Sheffield, Sheffield Fluid Mechanics Group, Sheffield, UK
  • Andrzej F. Nowakowski                                    University of Sheffield, Sheffield Fluid Mechanics Group, Sheffield, UK
  • Jacek Pozorski                                                   Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Gdańsk, Poland
  • Jose-M. Redondo                                               UPC, Barcelona, Spain
  • Mike Reeks                                                          University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  • Jacek Rokicki                                                      Institute of Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland
  • Jackson Tellez Alvarez                                      Instituto Flumen (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
  • J. Christos Vassilicos                                         Imperial College, Department of Aeronautics, London, UK

  • Workshops


  • Synthetic flows for complex heat and mass transfer (28th-29th June 2018, Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Gdańsk, Poland)

  • Synthetic flows for heat and mass transfer (3rd-4th July 2017, Université Paris-Ouest, Nanterre La Défense, France)

  • Synthetic flow structure - clustering and modelling (29th and 30th June 2015, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, Eculy, France)

  • Synthetic turbulence, wavelet and CFD (4th and 5th September 2014, LSTM University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany)

  • Synthetic turbulence and vortex dynamics (11th - 12th July 2013, Wrocław University of Technology, Poland)

  • Synthetic turbulence, clustering and fractal geometry (Paris, 28th - 29th June 2012)

  • How to assemble and disassemble turbulence and how do things assemble and disassemble in it? (London, 22nd-23rd September 2011)

  • Synthetic turbulence models and environment (Lyon, July 2010)

  • Synthetic turbulence models and vortex methods (Warsaw 1st-3rd July 2009)

  • Synthetic turbulence model and particle-laden flows (Nancy 11th-12th December 2008)

  • SIG 42 3rd workshop on Synthetic Turbulence (Newcastle 3rd-4th July 2008)

  • SIG 42 2nd workshop on Synthetic Turbulence (Barcelona 29th-30th November 2007)

  • SIG 35 1st workshop on Synthetic Turbulence (Sheffield 29th-30th May 2007)