Caitlin Chalk

Caitlin Chalk

I am studying for an interdisciplinary MSc/PhD in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics: 2014-2018


PhD Project Title: Computational Fluid Dynamics Modelling of Debris Flow Runout 


Before joining the CDT I graduated with a BSc in Mathematics at the University of Leeds where my modules included both Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics. In my final year project I studied the chaotic Lorenz equations and experimented with how a slight change in initial conditions can completely alter the outcome of a system. My first year CDT team project involved modelling density currents using the shallow water equations and finding an appropriate analytical eddy viscosity profile to use.

Research Interests

I am currently undertaking my PhD research where I am using Computational Fluid Dynamics to model debris flow behaviour. A debris flow exhibits a complex interaction between solid and fluid forces, making its behavioiur difficult to model. I am using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics – a mesh free numerical method – to simulate results from a small scale physical model of a debris flow. I am particularly interested in the rheology of the flow and the pore water pressure evolution.

Why I chose the CDT in Fluid Dynamics

By the end of my undergraduate studies I knew that I wanted to continue working with Fluid Dynamics, but I was unsure upon the specific area that I wanted to go into. I chose the CDT because of the opportunity that is given to learn about a wide variety of topics relating to Fluid Dynamics. This meant that I had enough time and experience to make an informed decision about my preferred area of PhD research.