Inaugural Lecture of Professor David Ingram, Professor of CFD and Director of Diversity & Inclusion


Larch Lecture Theatre, Nucleus Building, King's Buildings, University of Edinburgh


Wednesday, April 17, 2024 - 17:30 to 19:30

Dis-continuous  Adventures in fluid mechanics, computer science and numerical analysis


Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) touches everyone’s lives. While weather forecasting is its most ubiquitous application, the cars we drive, the aeroplanes we fly in, the wind turbines that supply our electricity and many other products are designed using it.

CFD software relies on advanced computer science, complex physics models and the tricky mathematics behind numerical methods to provide results which are interpreted by engineers and scientists.

Some of the toughest problems to model include discontinuities where fluid properties undergo sudden and significant changes. Such problems include supersonic flight, blast waves and detonations and waves travelling across the surface of the ocean.

Matters are further complicated by the presence of turbulence in the flow.

Since being introduced to CFD in 1986, David Ingram has worked on the development and application of CFD software to such problems. In this lecture he will talk about fluid flow models, numerical methods, iconic computers and scientific programming.

In this lecture, he will explore how CFD analysts work in partnership with large scale experimental test facilities and field measurements in offshore renewable energy, and ask the question “How green is your simulation?”


Professor David Ingram grew up in Plymouth (in the South West of England) where he spent too much time out doors and on (or in) the water and not enough time studying. He attended Coombe Dean comprehensive school where being dyslexic made life a challenge.

Around 1980 his life was changed by three things: his dad bought a second hand Apple computer; a school inspector recognised his mathematical ability; and a specialist teacher called Sue Welsh taught him English. Fascinated by computer programming he spent far too much time programming (eventually owning a BBC model-B computer) before going to what is now the University of Greenwich to do a joint honours degree in mathematics, statistics and computing.

During his one year industrial placement at Harwell laboratory he worked in a group developing the CF/X flow solver, writing the grid generation software. At Harwell he fell in love twice, with Jacqueline who he married and with computational fluid dynamics  he is still passionate about both. He also got to program a Cray-2 supercomputer.

After completing his PhD on blast waves in 1992 at Manchester Metropolitan University he took up position as a lecturer there, helping to run the Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Flow Analysis in the Department of Computing and Mathematics.

David continued to develop shock capturing methods and also began to work on shallow water flows and wave breaking on breakwaters and coastal structures. This led to an EPSRC project where experiments were conducted at the University of Edinburgh and to a collaboration with Hokkaido University in Japan.

He moved to Edinburgh in 2006 to work in the School of Engineering’s Institute for Energy Systems, where he was awarded a personal chair in computational fluid dynamics in 2009. At Edinburgh he led the work to design the flow system for the FloWave Ocean Energy Research facility which opened in 2014, and has run the IDCORE Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Renewable Energy since 2011.

He is still developing numerical methods, currently with a PhD student Jorge Sandoval, is involved in the modelling of floating wind, wave and tidal energy machines and in a research project on extreme waves in current led by Hokkaido University.

Register to attend

The event is open to all. To attend, please register with Louise Farquharson:,

Further Information

Professor David Ingram
Professor David Ingram

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