Please activate javascript on your browser

Dr Lei Wu

Chancellor's Fellow and Senior Lecturer

James Weir Fluids Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XJ, UK


Lei Wu is the Chancellor's Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering in the University of Strathclyde. He has a BSc in Physics and an MSc in Nonlinear Dynamics. He obtained his PhD in Fluid Mechanics from the University of Strathclyde in 2013, continued to work there as a postdoctoral research associate, and became the Chancellor’s Fellow and Lecturer in 04/2015. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 12/2018.



Selected publications  All his works can be found in ResearchGate


Assessment and development of the gas kinetic boundary condition for the Boltzmann equation 
Wu L and Struchtrup Henning. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 823 (2017) 511-537.

On the apparent permeability of porous media in rarefied gas flows
Wu L et alJournal of Fluid Mechanics 822 (2017) 398–417.


Non-equilibrium dynamics of dense gas under tight confinement
Wu L and Liu HH and Reese JM and Zhang YH. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 794 (2016) 252–266.


A kinetic model of the Boltzmann equation for non-vibrating polyatomic gases
Wu L et alJournal of Fluid Mechanics 763 (2015) 24-50


Oscillatory rarefied gas flow inside rectangular cavities
Wu L and Reese JM and Zhang YH. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 748 (2014) 350-367.


Solving the Boltzmann equation deterministically by the fast spectral method: application to gas microflows
Wu L and Reese JM and Zhang YH. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 746 (2014) 53-84.

Streamlines, temperature, and velocity distribution function in the "ghost effect" problem; Fast spectral solution of the Boltzmann equation

The "Knudsen paradox" in the Poiseuille flow of dense gas.

The Klinkenberg's experimental results (i.e. why the correction factor decreases with the reciprocal mean gas pressure) in 1941 has been properly explained.

Research interests

My research interest is in rarefied gas dynamics, which has found applications from the Heaven to the Underground, and from classical to quantum physics, e.g. in high-altitude aerothermodynamics of space vehicles, microelectromechanical systems, shale gas extraction, multi-scale heat transfer in crystals, granular flows, and thermal motion of Bose and Fermi gases.

My current research focus is to predict unconventional gas production in porous media, which is urgently needed in both gas extraction and carbon storage in shale reservoirs. The challenge is that due to the small pore size of shale matrix, the flow is rarefied so cannot be described by the conventional Navier-Stokes equations. I will develop state-of-the-art tools to make well-informed predictions of shale gas production rates, and, in particular, help to assess the economic and environmental value of the CO2-enhanced gas recovery and the subsequent long-term CO2 sequestration. Recently I have secured a funding as the PI for the project “Multi-Scale Simulation of Rarefied Gas Flows in Porous Media” from EPSRC, see the report "Carbon dioxide could be locked underground in hunt for natural gas". 

Willing to take PhD students. Please contact me if you're interested in Rarefied Gas Dynamics and its wide range of applications. 

  • Rarefied Gas Dynamics (Boltzmann equation)
    when the mean free path of the gas molecule is comparable or larger than the characteristic flow length, the Conventional Computational Dynamics fails and the kinetic equation must be used to study the rarefied gas dynamics. We are developing an accurate and efficient numerical scheme (fast spectral method) for the Boltzmann equation, which has applicaitons in micro/nano-electromechanical systems.
  • Spontaneous/Coherent Rayleigh-Brillouin Scattering
    light propagating through the atmosphere is scattered by gas molecules, where the scattered signals contain information (such as temperature) about the atmosphere. This information can be extracted by comparing the experimental spectra with theoretical ones. Our aim is to provide RBS spectra based on the Boltzmann equation of realistic intermoelcualr potentials.
  • Shale gas, Multiphase flow, Gas-wall interaction (Enskog equation) 
    while the Boltzmann equation is a fundamental model for gas dynamics at low pressure, its applicability in a typical shale gas production scenario with high gas pressure becomes problematic. This is because the Boltzmann equation is derived under the assumption that the mean free path is much larger than the molecular dimension, which is violated at extreme large gas pressures. Although the gas pressure is high, the non-equilibrium phenomena exitsts because of the small channel width. We are developing efficient numerical schemes to solve the Enskog equation which describes dense gas/liquid flowing through ultra-tight shale strata.
  • Granular flows
    an efficient fast spectral method for the generalized Enskog equation has been developed to investigate the exotic dynamics of rapid dense granular flows.