Research Visit: Nejc Coz and Jonathan King

Nejc and Jonathan have recently returned from a three and a half month research visit at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The visit was sponsored by the WISE CDT programme and Jonathan was fortunate enough to be awarded an additional placement grant from the British Council Newton Fund which supported him during the visit. For the duration of their visit they joined a research group at the Department of Hydraulic Engineering led by Prof Binliang Lin. Please read below for further information from Nejc and Jonathan about their recent visit:

Beijing and Cardiff are dissimilar in almost every aspect you can imagine so here are a few points to give you an idea. Firstly, the weather. Stepping off the plane in mid-September the heat overwhelms you. For the first month we were subject to 25 °C which made a nice change to the UK climate, especially as it rained for 2 out of the 100 days we were there. Unfortunately this quickly turned to -2 to 5 °C within a fortnight in October to where is stayed for the remainder of the trip. The population of Beijing is slightly larger than that of Cardiff (21.5 million compared to 350,000) and getting used to so many people, cars and bikes took some time. We can confirm that there are definitely 9 million bicycles in Beijing, probably more! Most importantly, the food was incredible. As expected rice and noodles were a staple but there was so much flavour and variety in the accompanying dishes it was difficult to get bored, although the spicy Sichuan food was sometimes a challenge.

The primary reason we were there was of course our work. Jonathan carried out a study on turbulent diffusion under steady flow conditions using particle tracking methods which was cross-validated with a numerical model using TELEMAC. Nejc studied the velocity profile below a tidal barrage under different operational configurations in order to validate the Delft3D model he has developed. The trip was a huge success with both of us completing our experiments and collecting a lot of useful data which we are in the process of writing up. During October our supervisor Professor Roger Falconer came to visit for a few days which was a good opportunity to discuss our progress and for him to meet the students in the department, whom we would like to thank for their invaluable support. In between weeks of work we managed to get out and explore during the weekends and the national holiday, making it down to Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi’an (to see the Terracotta Army) and of course the Great Wall.

To view a couple of short videos that Nejc and Jonathan have created from their visit, please click here.