Dr. Imran Afgan

Dr. Imran Afgan

ِAssociate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Office: +971 2 810 9185
Email: imran.afgan@@ku.ac.ae

Dr. Imran Afgan received his bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology Pakistan in 1999 and Ph.D. from The University of Manchester in 2007. Prior to his appointment at Khalifa University, he was a senior lecturer and Director of Thermal Power and Fluids Engineering programme at The University of Manchester (2011-2019). Before joining Manchester, he worked jointly at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie and Électricité de France (edf) as a research engineer (2009-2011). He has also worked at Air University Islamabad as an Assistant Professor (2007-2009) and as a research engineer in Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute China (1999-2000). At Manchester University Dr. Imran was leading a large group of young scientists which included 11 PhD. Students and 3 postdocs all working on Computation Fluid Dynamics on various fundamental and applied projects related to thermo-fluids. He is a Professional Engineer (PEC) and a Fellow of the Higher Education academy of UK.

Dr. Imran Afgan is a specialist in massively parallel computing and has a special interest in high fidelity simulations (Large Eddy Simulations & Direct Numerical Simulations). His active areas of research include, Turbulence Modelling, conjugate heat transfer modelling, Uncertainty Quantification, Machine Learning, Fluid Structure Interaction, Aeroacoustics, hybrid duel mesh methods and Wall functions development. His applied research is in the areas of Nuclear thermal Hydraulics, Renewable Energy (wind/tidal, solar thermal) and energy storage has led to a number of successful grants with a total funding income of over USD 6 million. He has been the lead researcher in Performance Assessment of Wave and Tidal Array System (PerAWAT) funded by DNV-GL, Reliable Data Acquisition Platform for Tidal (ReDAPT) funded and commissioned by Energy Technology Institute (ETI) and Computations for Advanced Reactor Engineering (CARE) funded by EPSRC (2011-2012). He was the CoI in Extreme Loading of Marine Energy Devices due to Waves, Current, Flotsam and Mammal Impact (X-Med) funded by EPSRC (2012-2015) and Hybrid RANS/LES developments funded by Siemens (2016-2018) and PI in Nuclear Energy and Trainings (NEaT) (2018-2019) funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). He is currently also the PI of Engineering Sustainable Solar Energy and Thermocline Alternatives (ESSEnTiAl) (2018-2021) funded by BEIS and a CoI on ORE EPSRC Supergen Offshore Renewable Energy Hub (2018-2022) and A New Technology Innovation for Foreign Object Debris removal (ANTIFOD)-Horizon 2020 (2018-2022). Dr. Afgan is also a CoI on the recently awarded 6.7 million AED grant by the Ministry of Education on Evaluation of the applicability of Accident Tolerant Fuel Concepts to APR1400 and a PI on Enhancing modelling and simulation tools using uncertainty quantification and machine learning for multi-physics problems.

Advisor to the following students & staff:
Current Postdoctoral Research Fellows
• Khalil Abu-Amsha, The University of Manchester (Main advisor), Energy Storage and Solar alternatives
• Wei Kang, The University of Manchester (so-advisor), ORE Supergen Hub
Current PhD Students:
• Saleh M. H. Mohamed, Khalifa University (Advisor, 3rd Year student) – Two Phase flow in ejectors for cooling
• Abdelmagid E. A. Ali (Advisor, final year student), The University of Manchester – A consistent dual-mesh approach for hybrid RANS-LES simulations
• Mohamad H. Abd Jalil (Co-advisor, final year student), The University of Manchester – Near wall domain decomposition for unsteady turbulence models
• Hannah Mullings (Co-advisor, final year student), The University of Manchester – Operational Loads On Tidal Turbines
• Philipp Nguyen (Co-advisor, final year student), The University of Manchester – Multiscale and Zonal Turbulent Flow Simulation by Deterministic and Statistical Model Coupling
• Brendan E. Iyamabo (Advisor, final year student), The University of Manchester – Revisiting Wall Functions to Bridge the Low-Reynolds-Number/High-Reynolds-Number Industrial Gap in LES Predictions of Turbulent FSI
• Diego A. Araya (Advisor, 3rd year student), The University of Manchester – Uncertainty Quantification in Offshore Wind Farms
• Saheed Shittu (Co-advisor, 3rd year student), The University of Manchester – Analysis of Vortex-Induced Vibration of Free Spanning Underwater Pipeline
• Nabeel Abed (Advisor, 2nd year student), The University of Manchester – Non-Uniform heating in parabolic trough concentrated solar power plants
• Andrew Mole (Co-advisor, 2nd year student), The University of Manchester – Embedded Eddy Simulation External Aerodynamics Motorsport
• Yu Huang (Co-advisor, 2nd year student), The University of Manchester – A modelling study of SOFC-GT systems: optimization of design conditions and development of simulation test platforms

  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, The University of Manchester, UK (2007)
  • B. Sc. Mechanical Engineering, GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Topi, Pakistan (1999)
  • MEEN 335 Fluid Mechanics
  • MEEN 721 Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • MEEN 694 Advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics

Research Thrusts

  • Energy and the Environment
  • Computational and Applied Mathematics
  • Fluid mechanics

Research Topics:

  • Laser-based flow diagnostics
  • Biofuel utilization
  • Applied chemical dynamics
  • Transport phenomena
  • Electrostatically manipulated flows

Recent Research Projects

1.Engineering Sustainable Solar Energy and Thermocline Alternatives (ESSEnTiAl)

Project Brief:

Parabolic trough CSP works on the principle of harnessing solar thermal energy which is used to heat up a working fluid thereby generating electricity via steam; excess heat can also be stored in thermal storage tanks, thus leading to an uninterrupted power in contrast to other RE resources. The two main goals of this research are:
1) Enhancement of energy production from CSP via use of Nano-Particles (nanoparticles) and induced swirl using experiments and simulations.
2) Improvement of efficiency and design of thermocline energy storage systems.
For the simulations, water was used as the Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF) with four different nanoparticles; Al2O3, TiO2, CuO and Cu. Different volume fractions of the nanoparticles were investigated for various Reynolds (Re) numbers with uniform heat flux. The experimental rig shown below is then used to study the non-uniform heating in both horizontal and vertical tubes along with heat transfer enhancement using the aforementioned nano-particles.

2. Subdomain Wall Functions For Large Eddy Simulation

Project Brief:

In this research we propose and test a new methodology for wall function for large eddy simulation (LES). The new wall function, named as the subdomain wall function for LES, simulates two regions of the flow domain simultaneously. The first region covers the entire flow domain and solves LES transport equations. The LES grid is deliberately made coarse in the near-wall region to reduce computational costs. The second region is much smaller and overlaps the near-wall area of the LES grid. The second region solves transient Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) transport equations and supplies the LES grid with information to derive drift volumetric-source terms. The RANS information is used to correct the under-resolved inner region of the LES domain using the drift source terms. In return, the top interface of the truncated RANS gird receives partially time-average quantities from the LES grid to complete the boundary conditions of the RANS grid and to enable the use of more advanced turbulence models in the RANS subdomain.

3. Direct Simulation of A Low Momentum Round Jet In Channel Crossflow With Conjugate Heat Transfer

Project Brief:

Jets in crossflow (JICF) are of great interests in wide ranges of industry applications. Examples can be found in turbine blades film cooling, de-icing of airplane wings, nuclear power-plant vessel emergency cooling and pollutant into water or atmosphere. To study the effects of the hot laminar jet issues from a circular exit into the crossflow cold channel with a low jet-to-crossflow velocity ratio (1/6) we utilize direct numerical simulations (DNS) with conjugate heat transfer The steel channel wall had a finite thickness and its outer side were cooled under Robin type thermal boundary conditions for a realistic external environment, leading to a conjugate heat transfer system. The governing equations were solved by Incompact3d, an open-source code combining the high-order compact scheme and Poisson spectral solver. An internal recycling approach was used to generate the fully turbulent channel flow profile as the inflow conditions. The database is uploaded online for open access (http://dx.doi.org/10.17632/7nx4prgjzz.3). In the fluid domain, four main flow structures are identified:

1) a large recirculation immediately downstream of the jet-exit;

2) a contour-rotating vortex pair originated from the stretching and reorientation of the injection-ow vorticity;

3) a horseshoe vortex generated as a result of the stretching of the vorticity at the jet-exit windward side; and

4) shear layer vortices coming from the lifted and shed crossflow boundary layer vorticity. Proper orthogonal decomposition and dynamic mode decomposition are then used to study the energy and spectrum information of structures


4. A dual-mesh hybrid RANS-LES simulation of the buoyant flow in a differentially heated square cavity with an improved resolution criterion

Project Brief:

In this work a dual mesh approach which uses a highly wall-refined mesh for the RANS simulations with an overlapping homogenous and isotropic mesh for the LES was applied for the first time to a natural convection flow in a high Rayleigh number differentially heated cavity. The basic idea of the dual mesh approach is that two simulations, unsteady RANS and LES, are run simultaneously and are corrected towards each other. A spatially and temporally varying criterion is used to determine that any point in space and time corrects the LES solution towards RANS or vice versa. This newly developed criterion based on comparing the turbulence lengthscales to the grid size is designed to account for the presence of both turbulent and laminar regions within the flow domain.

5. Vortex-induced vibrations of a flexible square prism using coupled fluid-structure interaction

Project Brief:

In this research a detailed analysis of the fluid-structure interaction between a three-dimensional finite square prism and a Newtonian fluid at Reynolds numbers (100-1000) were performed. The primary purpose of this research was to highlight the differences in the flow physics between a rigid and flexible prisms. In particular, the response of the structure, the time averaged flow fields in the near wake region and the coupled interaction between them. A large eddy simulation approach was used within OpenFOAM, an open source computational fluid dynamics package, whilst ParaFEM, an open source computational structural mechanics package, solves for a geometrically nonlinear structure using the finite element method. The results showed steady, periodic and chaotic deflections of the prism, with the prism deflecting approximately an order of magnitude more in the spanwise than streamwise direction. cases studied.

  1. Ahmed, U; Apsley, D; Stallard, T; Stansby, P, Afgan, I*. Turbulent length scales and budgets of Reynolds stress-transport for open-channel flows; Reτ = 150, 400 & 1020, Journal of Hydraulic Research. 2020. DOI:10.1080/00221686.2020.1729265.
  2. Abed, N; Afgan, I. An extensive review of various technologies for enhancing the thermal and optical performances of parabolic trough collectors. Internal Journal of Energy Research, 2020, 1-48,  https://doi.org/10.1002/er.5271
  3. Revell, A; Afgan, I; Ali, A; Santasmasas, M; Craft, T; de Roseis, A; Holgate, J; Laurence, D; Iyamabo, I; Mole, A; Owen, B, Savoie, M; Wang, J; Zhang, X. Coupled hybrid RANS-LES Research at the University of Manchester. ERCOFTAC Bulletin, 2020, Volume 120, Pages 67
  4. Nguyen, P.; Uribe, J. C.; Afgan, I.; Laurence D. R. A Dual-Grid Hybrid RANS/LES Model for Under-Resolved Near-Wall Regions and its Application to Heated and Separating Flows. Flow Turbulence and Combustion, 2019. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10494-019-00070-8
  5. Benhamadouche, S; Afgan, I*; Manceau, R. Numerical Simulations of Flow and Heat Transfer in a Wall-Bounded Pin Matrix. Flow Turbulence and Combustion, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10494-019-00046-8
  6. Wu, Z; Laurence, D.; Utyuzhnikov, S.; Afgan, I. Proper orthogonal decomposition and dynamic mode decomposition of jet in channel crossflow. Nuclear Engineering and Design, vol. 344, pp 54-68, 2019
  7. Kahil, Y.; Benhamadouche, S.; Berrouk, A. S.; Afgan, I*. Simulation of subcritical-Reynolds-number flow around four cylinders in square arrangement configuration using LES. European Journal of Mechanics – B/Fluids, vol. 74, pp 111-122, 2019
  8. Abed, N. and Afgan, I*. Enhancement Techniques of Parabolic Trough Collectors: A Review of Past and Recent Technologies. Advancements in Civil Engineering & Technology. https://doi.org/10.31031/ACET.2019.03.000563
  9. Ahmed, Nabeel; Afgan, I. A CFD study of flow quantities and heat transfer by changing a vertical to diameter ratio and horizontal to diameter ratio in inline tube banks using URANS turbulence models. International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, vol. 89, pp 18-30. 2017
  10. Wu, Z; Laurence, D.; Iacovides, H.; Afgan, I. Direct simulation of conjugate heat transfer of jet in channel crossflow. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, vol. 110, pp 193-208. 2017
  11. Wu, Z; Laurence, D.; Afgan, I. Direct numerical simulation of a low momentum round jet in channel crossflow. Nuclear Engineering and Design, vol. 313, pp 273-284. 2017
  12. Ahmed, U; Apsley, DD; Afgan, I; Stallard, T; Stansby, PK. Fluctuating loads on a tidal turbine due to velocity shear and turbulence: comparison of CFD with field data. Renewable Energy, vol. 112, pp 235-246. 2017
  13. McNaughton, James; Afgan, I; Apsley, DD; Rolfo, S; Stallard, T; Stansby, PK. A simple sliding‐mesh interface procedure and its application to the CFD simulation of a tidal‐stream turbine. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, vol. 74, No. 4, pp 250-269. 2014
  14. Afgan, I*; McNaughton, J; Rolfo, S; Apsley, DD; Stallard, T; Stansby, P. Turbulent flow and loading on a tidal stream turbine by LES and RANS. International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, vol. 43, pp 96-108. 2013
  15. Afgan, I.*; Benhamadouche, S.; Han, X.; Sagaut, P.; Laurence, D. Flow over a flat plate with uniform inlet and incident coherent gusts. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, vol. 720, pp 457-485. 2013
  16. Han, X.; Sagaut, P.; Lucor, D.; Afgan, I. Stochastic response of the laminar flow past a flat plate under uncertain inflow conditions. International Journal of Computational Fluid Dynamics, vol. 26, no. 2, pp 101-117. 2012
  17. Afgan, I*; Kahil, Y; Benhamadouche, S; Sagaut, P. Large eddy simulation of the flow around single and two side-by-side cylinders at subcritical Reynolds numbers. Physics of Fluids, vol. 23, no. 7-75101. 2011
  18. Guleren, K. M.; Afgan, I; Turan, A. Predictions of turbulent flow for the impeller of a nasa low-speed centrifugal compressor. Journal of Turbomachinery-Transactions of the ASME, vol. 132, no.2-21005. 2010
  19. Filippone, A.; Afgan, I. Orthogonal blade-vortex interaction on a helicopter tail rotor. AIAA journal, vol. 46, no. 6-1476. 2008
  20. Afgan, I*; Moulinec, C; Laurence, D. Numerical simulation of generic side mirror of a car using large eddy simulation with polyhedral meshes. International journal for numerical methods in fluids, vol. 56, no. 8, pp 1107-1113. 2008
  21. Guleren, K. M.; Afgan, I; Turan, A. Laminarization of internal flows under the combined effect of strong curvature and rotation. Journal of Fluids Engineering-Transactions of the ASME, vol. 130, no. 9. 2008

Afgan, I.*; Moulinec, C.; Prosser, R.; Laurence, D. Large eddy simulation of turbulent flow for wall mounted cantilever cylinders of aspect ratio 6 and 10. International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, vol. 28, no. 4, pp 561-574. 2007

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