Professor Vincent Wheatley

Professor

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
v.wheatley@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 52969

Overview

Prof. Wheatley is the Co-Director of the Centre for Hypersonics within the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering. He was named Australia's Research Field Leader in Aerospace and Aviation Engineering (The Australian, Sept 28, 2018) and was a recipient of a 2017 Australian Award for University Teaching – Award for Teaching Excellence .

Prof. Wheatley's research interests are in the fields of supersonic plasma flows, hypersonics and computational fluid dynamics.

Prof. Wheatley's research in supersonic plasma flows focuses on the suppression of instabilities that are detrimental to inertial confinement fusion, a process that promises carbon free energy production. In hypersonics, he focuses on extending the capability scramjets to the point where they can power launch-vehicle stages. This technology could meet the need for safer, more economical space access, which has the potential to revolutionise the space industry. Computational fluid dynamics is his primary method of investigation in these areas.

Prof. Wheatley obtained his PhD in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology in 2005. He also earned an MEngSc (Mechanical) and a BE (Mechanical and Space) from the University of Queensland (UQ). After completing his PhD in the US, Dr Wheatley spent two years as post-doctoral fellow at ETH Zurich. He was then a Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Adelaide before taking up his position at UQ in 2009.

Prof. Wheatley has expertise in the areas of:

  • Simulation of hypersonic flows (DNS, LES and RANS)
  • Using high fidelity numerical simulations, validated by experiments, to provide new details and understanding of scramjet flow physics
  • Mixing and combustion enhancement in scramjets through fuel/flow structure interactions and novel injector design
  • Analysis and simulation of plasma instabilities
  • Numerical methods for magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) and multi-fluid, ion-electron plasmas
  • Rarefied gas dynamics
  • Bluff body wake dynamics
  • Aeroacoustics, particularly passive noise control for bluff bodies

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Engineering with Honours, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Engineering Science (Mechanical), The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, California Institute of Technology

Publications

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • In inertial confinement fusion, hundreds of terawatts of laser power is used to drive a converging shock wave into a small spherical capsule containing a fuel mixture of heavy hydrogen isotopes. When the shock wave converges at the centre of the capsule, the temperature should exceed 100 million Kelvin and a fusion reaction between the hydrogen nuclei should be ignite. The fusion burn should then propagate outward through the fuel more rapidly than it can expand. However, when the shock impacts on the interfaces between the capsule and the fuel layers, hydrodynamic instabilities are triggered. The first of these is the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability, which occurs when a shock interacts with a density interface. The hydrodynamic instabilities limit the chance of energy break-even or production.

    In the last few years, we have shown that in ideal plasmas, the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability can be suppressed by the application of a seed magnetic field. The extreme temperatures involved in inertial confinement fusion mean the fluids involved are plasmas, so suppressing the instability is possible. Unfortunately, to suppress the instability and maintain spherical symmetry would require a radial magnetic field, which is not attainable. Instead we have studied cases where the instability is suppressed using realistic magnetic fields, with very promising results.

    The results discussed above were obtained using ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), which is one of the simplest frameworks for modelling plasma behaviour. In this project, the suppression of the Richtmyer-Meskov instability will be investigated using the more realistic framework of two-fluid MHD, where the electrons and heavy ions are simulated separately, and the full set of Maxwell's equations are solved to determine the evolution of the electric and magnetic fields. This framework allows a wealth of plasma behaviour that cannot occur in ideal MHD. The crucial outcome of this project will be to determine how these phenomena affect the suppression of the Ritchmyer-Meshkov instability in the presence of a seed magnetic field.

  • This PhD project expects to generate new knowledge in air-breathing hypersonic propulsion utilising a plasma for thrust. This approach could eliminate the physical limitations of current engines such as scramjets and enable flight within the atmosphere at speeds greater than three kilometres per second, or 10,000 kilometres per hour. The Plasma Fuel Engine (PFE) is a new technology based on a Hall thruster concept applied to an air-breathing engine. UQ has been awarded an ARC Linkage Project to experimentally and computationally investigate the performance of these engines. The objective of this PhD project is to develop the capability accurately simulate the flow physics within a PFE and validate this against experimental data produced in the broader Linkage Project. The simulation results will then be used to gain new insights into the details of PFE operation.

    UQ Centre for Hypersonics has developed a continuum multi-fluid plasma simulation capability within the AMReX adaptive mesh refinement framework (Bond et al., (2017)). This solves for the momentum of ions, electrons and neutrals separately and thus models the fundamental transport processes governing all particle movements in the PFE. It is fundamentally different to the approaches previously utilized to simulate the physics of PFEs. The capability to simulate ionising air flows within this solver is being developed as part of a separate linkage project (LP180100107). In this PhD project, boundary conditions will be developed to enable the simulation of PFE operation utilizing AMReX’s embedded boundary routines. In addition, further development of our ionization modelling capability may be required to accurately simulate air ionization by electron beams. Once the new modelling capability has been experimentally validated, simulations of PFE operation at a range of conditions will be conducted. The results of these simulations will yield new understanding of the flow physics underpinning PFE performance, which could inform design improvements.

  • Preliminary experimental and computational investigations indicate that distributed fuel injection to maintain a fuel-rich film along hypersonic engine walls has multiple potential benefits:

    • Provide film/transpiration cooling to reduce hypersonic heat transfer loads, one of the main technical roadblocks currently associated with sustained hypersonic flight
    • Reduce skin friction drag, which can be a significant proportion of vehicle drag at high Mach numbers, through a combination of film effects and boundary layer combustion
    • Trip the laminar boundary layer on the vehicle forebody to turbulence, removing the requirement for trip devices and thereby eliminating the excessive heating and drag associated with them
    • Provide a low free-stream stagnation pressure loss mechanism to deliver fuel into the engine
    • The forebody injected fuel film resides in the relatively low speed, high temperature lower boundary layer where has enhanced opportunity to form radicals, providing a potential ignition aid

    Recent developments in the production of porous ceramic matrix composites as well as the optimization of dense small port-hole injector arrays has provided multiple options for distributed fuel injection that are suitable for scramjets. Fully understanding and maximizing the benefits of these approaches requires the capability to accurately model them using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The first aim of the proposed project is to develop and validate the capability to model the injection of fuel through porous walls into a hypersonic cross-flow in both Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) and Large-Eddy Simulations (LES). The LES capability will then be used to understand and quantify the effects of porous injection and multi-port injector arrays on boundary layer transition, film cooling, skin friction reduction and ignition for both hydrogen and hydrocarbon fuels. These fundamental simulations can be used to evaluated the accuracy of the RANS capability, which can potentially be used to evaluate the impact of distributed fuel injection on the performance of full engines. This study will also investigate the effect hot walls has on the performance.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Kaur, Ramandeep, Wheatley, Vincent, Veeraragavan, Anand and Doolan, Con (2020). LES Simulation of Sound Generated by a Cylinder Wake and its Interaction with Shock Waves. 22nd Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference AFMC2020, Brisbane, Australia, 7-10 December 2020. Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland. doi: 10.14264/9760dbe

  • Curran, Damian, Wheatley, Vincent and Smart, Michael (2020). The Effect of Wall and Fuel Temperature in a Mach 6 Scramjet Engine. 22nd Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference AFMC2020, Brisbane, Australia, 7-10 December 2020. Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland. doi: 10.14264/7760714

  • Bond, D., Wheatley, V., Samtaney, R. and Li, Y. (2019). Investigating the two-fluid plasma Richtmyer-Meshkov instability: a tale of two codes. ISSW32: 32nd International Symposium on Shock Waves, Singapore, 14-19 July 2019. Singapore: Research Publishing, Singapore. doi: 10.3850/978-981-11-2730-4_0169-cd

  • Curran, Damian, Wheatley, Vincent and Smart, Michael (2019). Investigation of combustion mode control in a Mach 8 shape-transitioning scramjet. 22nd AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonics Systems and Technologies Conference, Orlando Fl, Sep 17-19, 2018. Reston, VA United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/1.j057999

  • Barth, James E., Wise, Dylan J., Wheatley, Vincent and Smart, Michael K. (2019). Tailored Fuel Injection for Performance Enhancement in a Mach 12 Scramjet Engine. 20th AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, Jul 06-09, 2015. Reston, VA, United States : American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/1.B36794

  • Bond, Daryl, Wheatley, Vincent, Samtaney, Ravi, Li, Yuan and Pullin, Dale (2019). The Richtmyer-Meshkov instability of an isotope interface in a two-fluid plasma. 32nd International Symposium on Shock Waves, Singapore, 14-19 July 2019. Singapore: Research Publishing, Singapore. doi: 10.3850/978-981-11-2730-4_0170-cd

  • Gibbons, Nicholas, Gehre, Rolf, Brieschenk, Stefan and Wheatley, Vincent (2018). Simulation of laser-Induced plasma ignition in a hypersonic crossflow. Reston, VA United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). doi: 10.2514/1.j055821

  • Vanyai, Tristan, Grieve, Sam, Street, Oliver, Denman, Zachary, McIntyre, Timothy, Veeraragavan, Anand, Wheatley, Vincent and Smart, Michael (2018). Fundamental scramjet combustion experiments using hydrocarbon fuel. AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonics Systems and Technologies Conference, AIAA SPACE Forum, Orlando, FL, United States, 17–19 September 2018. Reston, VA United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2018-5201

  • Curran, Damian R., Wheatley, Vincent and Smart, Michael K. (2018). Investigation of combustion mode control in a mach 8 shape-transitioning scramjet. 2018 AIAA SPACE and Astronautics Forum and Exposition, Orlando, Florida, 17-19 September 2018. Reston, Virginia: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2018-5380

  • Smith, Daniel R., Gildfind, David E., James, Christopher M., McIntyre, Timothy J. and Wheatley, Vincent (2018). Magnetohydrodynamic drag force measurements in an expansion tube. 9th AIAA Flow Control Conference 2018, Atlanta, GA United States, 25 - 29 June 2018. Reston, VA United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2018-3755

  • Bond, D., Wheatley, V., Imran, S., Samtaney, R., Pullin, D. and Li, Y. (2018). Shock interactions in multi-fluid plasmas. 21st Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Adelaide, SA Australia, 10-13 December 2018. Perth, WA Australia: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Curran, D. R., Wheatley, V. and Smart, M. K. (2018). Simulation of forced ignition in a Mach 6 scramjet combustor. Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Adelaide, Australia, 10-13 December 2018. Perth, WA, United States: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Cartmill, I., Gibbons, N., Wheatley, V. and Doolan, C. (2018). Sound generation by a supersonic reacting mixing layer. Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Adelaide, Australia, 10-13 December 2018. Perth, WA, United States: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Landsberg, Will O., Gibbons, Nicholas N., Wheatley, Vincent, Smart, Michael K. and Veeraragavan, Ananthanarayanan (2017). Flow field manipulation via fuel injectors in scramjets. 21st AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonics Technologies Conference, Hypersonics 2017, Xiamen, China, 6 - 9 March 2017. Reston, VA, United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2017-2389

  • Landsberg, Will O., Wheatley, Vincent, Smart, Michael and Veeraragavan, Ananthanarayanan (2017). Performance of high Mach number scramjets - Tunnel vs flight. 68th International Astronautical Congress: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security, IAC 2017, Adelaide, SA, Australia, 25-29 September 2017. Paris, France: International Astronautical Federation.

  • Landsberg, Will O., Wheatley, Vincent, Smart, Michael K and Veeraragavan, Ananthanarayanan (2017). Reducing combustor length within a mach 12 shape-transitioning scramjet. 11th Asia-Pacific Conference on Combustion, ASPACC 2017, Sydney, Australia, 10-14 December 2017. Sydney, Australia: Combustion Institute.

  • Denman, Z. J., Wheatley, V., Smart, M. K. and Veeraragavan, A . (2016). Fuel injection and mixing in a Mach 8 hydrocarbon-fuelled scramjet. 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Perth, Australia, 5 – 8 December 2016. Perth, Australia: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Wheatley, V., Mostert, W., Bond, D. M. and Samtaney, R. (2016). Local field effects on magnetic suppression of the converging Richtmyer-Meshkov instability. 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Perth, Western Australia, 5-8 December 2016. Victoria, Australia: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Moura, A. F., Wheatley, V., McIntyre, T. J. and Jahn, I. (2016). On the development of a Mach 10 scramjet engine for investigation of supersonic combustion regimes. 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Perth, Western Australia, 5-8 December 2016. Victoria, Australia: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Basore, K. D., Selzer, M., Wheatley, V., Boyce, R. R., Mee, D. J., Capra, B. R., Kuhn, M. and Brieschenk, S. (2016). Performance Comparison of Distributed Injection Methods for Hypersonic Film-Cooling. 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Perth, Western Australia, 5-8 December 2016. Victoria, Australia: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Bond, D. M., Wheatley, V. and Samtaney, R. (2016). Plasma flow simulation using the two-fluid model. 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Perth, Western Australia, 5-8 December 2016. Victoria, Australia: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Gibbons, N., Wheatley, V. and Doolan, C. (2016). Preliminary Investigation of Sound Generation in Scramjets. 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Perth, Western Australia, 5-8 December 2016. Victoria, Australia: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Mostert, W., Wheatley, V. and Samtaney, R. (2015). Characterisation of the cylindrical Riemann problem in magnetohydrodynamics. International Symposium on Shock Waves (ISSW29), Madison, WI, United States, 14-19 July 2013. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16838-8_1

  • Gehre, Rolf M., Wheatley, Vincent and Boyce, Russell R. (2015). Combustion regimes in inlet-fueled, low compression scramjets. AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, 6-9 July 2015. Reston, VA, United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2015-3507

  • Brieschenk, S., Gehre, R., Wheatley, V. and Boyce, R. (2015). Fluorescence studies of jet mixing in a hypersonic flow. International Symposium on Shock Waves (ISSW29), Madison, WI, United States, 14-19 July 2013. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16835-7_98

  • Gehre, R. M., Peterson, D., Wheatley, V. and Boyce, R. R. (2015). Numerical investigation of the mixing process in inlet-fuelled scramjets. International Symposium on Shock Waves (ISSW29), Madison, WI, United States, 14-19 July 2013. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16838-8_32

  • Gibbons, Nicholas, Gehre, Rolf, Brieschenk, Stefan and Wheatley, Vincent (2015). Simulation of laser-induced-plasma ignition in a hypersonic crossflow. AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, 6-9 July 2015. Reston, VA, United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2015-3622

  • Barth, James E., Wise, Dylan J., Wheatley, Vincent and Smart, Michael K. (2015). Tailored fuel injection for performance enhancement in a Mach 12 scramjet engine. AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, 6-9 July 2015. Reston, VA, United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2015-3614

  • Wheatley, V., Gehre, R. M., Samtaney, R. and Pullin, D. I. (2015). The magnetohydrodynamic Richtmyer-Meshkov instability: the oblique field case. International Symposium on Shock Waves, Madison, WI, United States, 14-19 July 2013. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16838-8_50

  • Brieschenk, Stefan, Pontalier, Quentin, Duffaut, Alexandre, Denman, Zachary J., Veeraravagan, Anand, Wheatley, Vincent and Smart, Michael K. (2014). Characterization of a spark ignition system for flameholding cavities. 45th AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference 2014, Atlanta, United States, 16-20 June 2014. Reston, VA, United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2014-2242

  • Basore, K., Wheatley, V., Boyce, R. R. and Starkey, R. (2014). Equivalent direct connect free-stream shock tunnel conditions for injection locations in an axisymmetric scramjet. 19th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 8-11 December 2014. Melbourne, VIC, Australia: RMIT University.

  • Denman, Zachary J., Brieschenk, Stefan, Veeraragavan, Anand, Wheatley, Vincent and Smart, Michael K. (2014). Experimental design of a cavity flameholder in a Mach 8 Shape-Transitioning Scramjet. 19th AIAA International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Atlanta, GA, United States, 16-20 June 2014. Reston, VA, United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2014-2953

  • Mostert, W., Wheatley, V., Samtaney, R. and Pullin, D. I. (2014). Influence of a seed magnetic field on the imploding cylindrical Richtmyer-Meshkov instability in magnetohydrodynamics. 19th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 8-11 December 2014. Melbourne, VIC, Australia: RMIT University.

  • Barth, James E., Wheatley, Vincent and Smart, Michael K. (2014). Inlet fuel injection in a mach 12 shape-transitioning scramjet. 52nd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, National Harbor, MD, United States, 13-17 January 2014. Reston, VA, United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2014-1159

  • Bilgi, P., Wheatley, V., Samtaney, R. and Barth, J. E. (2014). Irregular shock refraction in magnetohydrodynamics. 19th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 8-11 December 2014. Melbourne, VIC, Australia: RMIT University.

  • Landsberg, W. O., Barth, J. E., Veeraragavan, A., Wheatley, V. and Smart, M. K. (2014). Tailored fuel injection within a Mach 12 shape transitioning scramjet. 19th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, 8-11 December 2014. Melbourne, VIC, Australia: RMIT University.

  • Petty, David J., Wheatley, V. and Smart, M. K. (2012). A parametric study of oxygen enriched scramjet combustion. 11th Australian Space Science Conference, Canberra, Australia, 26 - 29 September 2011. Sydney, Australia: National Space Society of Australia.

  • Bond, D. M., Wheatley, V., Macrossan, M. N. and Goldsworthy, M. (2012). Arbitrarily high-order BGK-Shakhov method for the simulation of micro-channel flows. 18th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Launceston, Australia, 3 - 7 December 2012. Hawthorn, VIC, Australia: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Bond, D. M., Macrossan, M. N. and Wheatley, V. (2012). Comparison of discrete BGK-Shakhov System with DSMC. 28th International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics (RGD), Zaragoza Spain, 09-13 July 2012. College Park, MD, United States: American Institute of Physics. doi: 10.1063/1.4769540

  • Barth, James E., Wheatley, Vincent and Smart, Michael K. (2012). Effects of ethylene combustion in a hypersonic turbulent boundary layer. 11th Australian Space Science Conference, Canberra, Australia, 26 - 29 September 2011. Sydney, Australia: National Space Society of Australia.

  • Barth, James E., Wheatley, Vincent, Smart, Michael K., Petty, David J. and Basore, Kevin D. (2012). Flow physics inside a shape-transitioning scramjet engine. 18th AIAA/3AF International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Tours, France, 24-28 September 2012. Reston, VA, United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2012-5888

  • Peterson, David M., Boyce, Russell R. and Wheatley, Vincent (2012). Hybrid reynolds-averaged and large-eddy simulation of mixing in an axisymmetric scramjet. 18th AIAA/3AF International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Tours, France, 24-28 September 2012. Reston, VA, United States: American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2012-5902

  • Pudsey, Adrian S., Boyce, Russell R. and Wheatley, Vincent (2012). Hypersonic viscous drag reduction via multi-porthole injector arrays. 18th AIAA/3AF International Space Planes and Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference, Tours, France, 24-28 September 2012. Reston, VA, United States: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. doi: 10.2514/6.2012-5934

  • Brieschenk, Stefan, Gehre, Rolf M., Wheatley, Vincent, Boyce, Russell R., Kleine, Harald and O'Byrne, Sean (2012). Jet interaction in a hypersonic flow: a comparison between PLIF thermometry and computational simulation. 28th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences 2012, ICAS 2012, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, 23-28 September 2012. Stockholm, Sweden: International Council of The Aeronautical Sciences.

  • Brieschenk, Stefan, Gehre, Rolf M., Wheatley, Vincent, Boyce, Russell R., Kleine, Harald and O’Byrne, Sean (2012). Jet interaction in a hypersonic flow: a comparison between plif thermometry and computational simulation. 28th International Congress of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS 2012), Brisbane, Australia, 23 - 28 September 2012. United Kingdom: International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS).

  • Gehre, R. M., Wheatley, V., Boyce, R. R., Peterson, D. M. and Brieschenk, S. (2012). Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes and wall–modelled large–eddy simulations of sonic hydrogen injection into hypersonic crossflow. 18th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Launceston, Australia, 3-7 December, 2012. Hawthorn, VIC, Australia: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Barth, James E., Wheatley, Vincent and Smart, Michael K. (2012). Streamwise porthole fuel injection for boundary-layer combustion inside a scramjet engine. 28th International Congress of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS 2012), Brisbane, Australia, 23 - 28 September 2012. United Kingdom: International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS).

  • Mostert, W., Wheatley, V., Hingee, M. and Samtaney, R. (2012). The Cylindrical Riemann Problem in magnetohydrodynamics: a case study. 18th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Launceston, Australia, 3-7 December 2012. Hawthorn, VIC, Australia: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Wheatley, V., Samtaney, R. and Pullin, D. I. (2012). The magnetohydrodynamic Richtmyer-Meshkov instability: the transverse field case. 18th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Launceston, Australia, 3 - 7 December 2012. Hawthorn, VIC, Australia: Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society.

  • Gehre, Rolf M., Wheatley, Vincent and Boyce, Russell R. (2012). Thermal non-equilibrium effects in radical farming scramjets. 28th International Congress of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS 2012), Brisbane, Australia, 23 - 28 September 2012. United Kingdom: International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS).

  • Gehre, Rolf M., Wheatley, Vincent and Boyce, Russell R. (2012). Thermal non-equilibrium effects in radical farming scramjets. Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, 23 - 28 September 2012. ICAS Secretariat.

  • Ali, Mohamed Sukri Mat Ali, Doolan, Con J. and Wheatley, Vincent (2011). Aeolian tones generated by a square cylinder with a detached flat plate. 17th AIAA/CEAS Aeroacoustics Conference (32nd AIAA Aeroacoustics Conference), Portland, OR, United States, 5-8 June 2011. Reston, VA, United States: AIAA - American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

  • Harrland, Alan, Doolan, Con, Wheatley, Vincent and Froning, Dave (2011). Hypersonic inlet for a laser powered propulsion system. 7th International Symposium on Beamed Energy Propulsion, Ludwigsburg, Germany, 10 -14 April 2011. College Park, MD, United States: American Institute of Physics. doi: 10.1063/1.3657023

  • Wheatley, V., Kumar, H. and Jeltsch, R. (2011). Spectral Performance of RKDG methods for Ideal MHD. Mathematics in Industry 2010, Sofia, Bulgaria, 11-13 July 2010. Sofia, Bulgaria: Bulgarska Akademiya na Naukite * Institute of Mathematics and Informatics.

  • Ali, Mohamed Sukri Mat, Doolan, Con J. and Wheatley, Vincent (2010). Aeolian tones generated by a square cylinder with a splitter plate.

  • Ali, Mohamed Sukri Mat, Doolan, Con J. and Wheatley, Vincent (2010). Aeolian tones generated by a square cylinder with a splitter plate. 20th International Congress on Acoustics, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 23-27 August 2010. NSW, Australia: Australian Acoustical Society.

  • Ali, Mohamed Sukri Mat, Doolan, Con J. and Wheatley, Vincent (2010). Flow around a square cylinder with a detached downstream flat plate at a low Reynolds number. 17th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 5-9 December 2010. Aukland, New Zealand: University of Auckland, Deptartment of Mechanical Engineering.

  • Wheatley, V. and Jacobs, P. A. (2010). Fuel injection via rectangular cross-section injectors for mixing enhancement in scramjets. 17th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 5-9 December 2010. Auckland, New Zealand: The University of Auckland.

  • Harrland, Alan, Doolan, Con and Wheatley, Vincent (2010). Hypersonic inlet for a laser powered propulsion system and its interaction with an idealized laser induced detonation wave. 10th Australian Space Sciences Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 27-30 September 2010. Sydney, Australia: National Space Society of Australia.

  • Petty, D., Smart, M. K., Wheatley, V. and Razzaqi, S. A. (2010). Simulation of hypervelocity scramjet combustion with oxygen enrichment. 10th Australian Space Sciences Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 27-30 September 2010. Sydney, Australia: National Space Society of Australia.

  • Ali, Mohamed Sukri Mat, Doolan, Con J. and Wheatley, Vincent (2009). Grid convergence study for a two-dimensional simulation of flow around a square cylinder at low Reynolds number. The 7th International Conference on CFD in the Minerals and Process Industries, Melbourne , Australia, 9-11 December, 2009. Melbourne, Vic., Australia: CSIRO.

  • Doolan, C.J. and Vincent Wheatley (2009). Hypersonic Vehicle Control Using External Burning. Australian Combustion Symposium, University of Queensland Brisbane, Dec 2 -4, 2009. Brisbane: The University of Queensland.

  • Hiptmair, R., Hugueniot, P., Jeltsch, R., Kumar, H., Schwab, C., Torrilhon, M. and Wheatley, V. (2008). Numerical simulation of compressible magnetohydrodynamic plasma flow in a circuit breaker. International Conference on Numerical Analysis and Applied Mathematics, Psalidi, Greece, 16-20 September 2008. College Park, MD, United States: Springer New York LLC. doi: 10.1063/1.2990896

  • Huguenot, P., Kumar, H., Wheatley, V., Jeltsch, R. and Schwab, C. (2008). Numerical simulations of high current arc in circuit breakers. 24th International Conference on Electrical Contacts, Saint-Malo, France, 9-12 June 2008.

  • Mattner, Trent and Wheatley, Vincent (2008). Promotion of open and efficient communication in tutorials. Education Research Group of Adelaide 2008 Conference, Adelaide, SA, Australia, 24-25 September 2008. Adelaide, SA, Australia: The University of Adelaide.

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • In inertial confinement fusion, hundreds of terawatts of laser power is used to drive a converging shock wave into a small spherical capsule containing a fuel mixture of heavy hydrogen isotopes. When the shock wave converges at the centre of the capsule, the temperature should exceed 100 million Kelvin and a fusion reaction between the hydrogen nuclei should be ignite. The fusion burn should then propagate outward through the fuel more rapidly than it can expand. However, when the shock impacts on the interfaces between the capsule and the fuel layers, hydrodynamic instabilities are triggered. The first of these is the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability, which occurs when a shock interacts with a density interface. The hydrodynamic instabilities limit the chance of energy break-even or production.

    In the last few years, we have shown that in ideal plasmas, the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability can be suppressed by the application of a seed magnetic field. The extreme temperatures involved in inertial confinement fusion mean the fluids involved are plasmas, so suppressing the instability is possible. Unfortunately, to suppress the instability and maintain spherical symmetry would require a radial magnetic field, which is not attainable. Instead we have studied cases where the instability is suppressed using realistic magnetic fields, with very promising results.

    The results discussed above were obtained using ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), which is one of the simplest frameworks for modelling plasma behaviour. In this project, the suppression of the Richtmyer-Meskov instability will be investigated using the more realistic framework of two-fluid MHD, where the electrons and heavy ions are simulated separately, and the full set of Maxwell's equations are solved to determine the evolution of the electric and magnetic fields. This framework allows a wealth of plasma behaviour that cannot occur in ideal MHD. The crucial outcome of this project will be to determine how these phenomena affect the suppression of the Ritchmyer-Meshkov instability in the presence of a seed magnetic field.

  • This PhD project expects to generate new knowledge in air-breathing hypersonic propulsion utilising a plasma for thrust. This approach could eliminate the physical limitations of current engines such as scramjets and enable flight within the atmosphere at speeds greater than three kilometres per second, or 10,000 kilometres per hour. The Plasma Fuel Engine (PFE) is a new technology based on a Hall thruster concept applied to an air-breathing engine. UQ has been awarded an ARC Linkage Project to experimentally and computationally investigate the performance of these engines. The objective of this PhD project is to develop the capability accurately simulate the flow physics within a PFE and validate this against experimental data produced in the broader Linkage Project. The simulation results will then be used to gain new insights into the details of PFE operation.

    UQ Centre for Hypersonics has developed a continuum multi-fluid plasma simulation capability within the AMReX adaptive mesh refinement framework (Bond et al., (2017)). This solves for the momentum of ions, electrons and neutrals separately and thus models the fundamental transport processes governing all particle movements in the PFE. It is fundamentally different to the approaches previously utilized to simulate the physics of PFEs. The capability to simulate ionising air flows within this solver is being developed as part of a separate linkage project (LP180100107). In this PhD project, boundary conditions will be developed to enable the simulation of PFE operation utilizing AMReX’s embedded boundary routines. In addition, further development of our ionization modelling capability may be required to accurately simulate air ionization by electron beams. Once the new modelling capability has been experimentally validated, simulations of PFE operation at a range of conditions will be conducted. The results of these simulations will yield new understanding of the flow physics underpinning PFE performance, which could inform design improvements.

  • Preliminary experimental and computational investigations indicate that distributed fuel injection to maintain a fuel-rich film along hypersonic engine walls has multiple potential benefits:

    • Provide film/transpiration cooling to reduce hypersonic heat transfer loads, one of the main technical roadblocks currently associated with sustained hypersonic flight
    • Reduce skin friction drag, which can be a significant proportion of vehicle drag at high Mach numbers, through a combination of film effects and boundary layer combustion
    • Trip the laminar boundary layer on the vehicle forebody to turbulence, removing the requirement for trip devices and thereby eliminating the excessive heating and drag associated with them
    • Provide a low free-stream stagnation pressure loss mechanism to deliver fuel into the engine
    • The forebody injected fuel film resides in the relatively low speed, high temperature lower boundary layer where has enhanced opportunity to form radicals, providing a potential ignition aid

    Recent developments in the production of porous ceramic matrix composites as well as the optimization of dense small port-hole injector arrays has provided multiple options for distributed fuel injection that are suitable for scramjets. Fully understanding and maximizing the benefits of these approaches requires the capability to accurately model them using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The first aim of the proposed project is to develop and validate the capability to model the injection of fuel through porous walls into a hypersonic cross-flow in both Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) and Large-Eddy Simulations (LES). The LES capability will then be used to understand and quantify the effects of porous injection and multi-port injector arrays on boundary layer transition, film cooling, skin friction reduction and ignition for both hydrogen and hydrocarbon fuels. These fundamental simulations can be used to evaluated the accuracy of the RANS capability, which can potentially be used to evaluate the impact of distributed fuel injection on the performance of full engines. This study will also investigate the effect hot walls has on the performance.