Professor Paul Linden, FRS, currently G I Taylor Professor of Fluid Mechanics at Cambridge, gave a lecture on July 9, 2014 titled “Fluid mechanics of sustainable building”.
As we face the challenges of living on Earth with an increasing population and with the stresses this places on resources and the environment, fluid mechanics is central to many of the major issues facing society - the availability of water (and food), pollution, the environmental consequences of energy use and the impacts of climate change, to name a few.
Humans have used the oceans and atmosphere as sources of energy and as dumping grounds for waste. We send carbon dioxide and pollutants into the atmosphere as a result of our industrial activities, and the oceans are affected by pollutants carried down rivers and into the sea.
Professor Linden described some of experiments carried out in the G.K. Batchelor Laboratory in DAMTP, which allowed us to study the relevant fluid flows in controlled laboratory conditions and use the results of these experiments gain understanding of the physics and to develop mathematical models of these flows. These models are used to provide quantitative estimates of these flows and their impacts on the environment.