The world that we see and do not see is filled with complex fluid phenomena. From observations of this natural world yielded many technological advances. Accordingly, the need to understand fluid dynamics is the key to the successful design and operation of a wide variety of scientific, medical and engineering phenomena in the future. At the Stokes Institute a multidisciplinary team tackle fluid mechanics phenomenon at the frontiers of science that ultimately lead to the advancement of technology.

The challenging problem of boundary layer transition to turbulence is an area of fluid mechanics/aerodynamics that continues to attract researchers from over the globe. This is due to its importance in the world of fluid mechanics where almost all man-made machines undergo a transition to turbulence on wetted surfaces. The result is an enhanced drag force on a body, sometimes advantageous, sometimes not.

The Stokes Institute, within the University of Limerick has both subsonic and transonic wind tunnel facilities, and state of the art PIV and thermal anemometry equipment. Our overarching goal is to advance the understanding of the evolution of turbulent flow, attacking the subject with state of the art scientific methodologies combined with unconventional approaches from both theoretical and experimental perspectives. Discoveries from this research will be implemented to advance the development of ground breaking technologies under development with the Stokes Institute in areas as diverse as electronics cooling to biotechnology.

The images below show PIV measurements of leading edge separation, turbulent spots and laminar boundary layer streaks.

Leading Edge Separation


Turbulent Spots


Laminar Boundary Layer Streaks



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  Stokes Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
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