Robert Long


I am a research student within the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Fluid Dynamics. I am currently in the transition stage of the programme. I have completed modules in CFD software as well as the Foundations of Fluid Dynamics which covered mathematical theory, numerical methods and experimental procedure. I am currently sitting modules to fill the remaining credits for the MSc component of the course, as well as performing research for my PhD project.

Before I joined the CDT, I studied for a BSC in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Coventry University. Whilst at Coventry I spent two summers working as an undergraduate researcher in Condensed Matter Physics. I worked within Nanophotonics; looking at the optical-electro properties of Lead Selenide (PbSe) and Lead Sulfide (PbS) nanocrystalline structures. This work made use of the atomic simulation software CASTEP.

My final year project titled 'A two-dimensional model for Oceanic and Atmospheric flows with a turbulent Ekman layer' involved developing a mathematical model from the full Navier-Stokes equations. The system was solved in a cylindrical domain and implemented numerically using the finite difference method.


Research interests

Rotating convection is an important phenomenon present in systems such as weather, ocean circulation and even the fluid motion in planetary cores. These convective fluid motions within the Earth's fluid outer core are (almost certainly) responsible for producing the Earth's magnetic field. Most previous studies have looked at the case with homogeneous boundary conditions. Heterogeneous boundary conditions at the top and bottom of the fluid core can reorganise the pattern of convection which can lead to novel scaling laws for heat transport through the system.

I am interested in how the convection within the Earth's fluid core responds to different boundary forcings and heating patterns applied at the core-mantle boundary (CMB). My PhD will begin by looking at the effect of these heterogeneous boundary conditions on the fluid flow through the use of scaling laws. I will investigate this by using the computational model; Leeds dynamo code. Long term aims of the project could involve correlating the effect of the boundary forcing on the flow with observed features of the Earth's magnetic field.

During the first year of the CDT, my MSc research project involved developing a flood management demonstration model which can be used for public engagement. I am very passionate about public outreach and science communication. To this end I have attended and presented at a variety of events.



  • Wetropolis’ Flood demonstrator for Nature-Based solutions (poster), UK Fluids Conference, University of Leeds, UK, September 2017.
  • Wetropolis : Flood Modelling on a tabletop (poster), CDT Fluids Student Symposium, Imperial College London, UK, June 2017.
  • ‘Wetropolis’ Flood demonstrator for Natural-Flood Management (poster), EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training Poster Event, University of Leeds, UK, May 2017.
  • Numerical studies of electro-optic properties of PbSe and PbS nano-crystals (oral), Tomorrow’s Mathematicians Today 2016, University of Greenwich, UK , February 2016.

Conference / Workshop Attendance

  • UK-SEDI : Study of the Earth's interior at the cutting edge, London, UK, May 2017.
  • Environmental Modelling in Industry Study Group, Cambridge, UK, April 2017.



  • BSc Hons Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Coventry University (Class 1)

Professional memberships

  • Associate member, Institute of Physics