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Dr Marcello Lappa

Reader (Academic grade 10) in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

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


Marcello Lappa is the Main Programme Advisor of Studies (Director) of the MSc course in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, UK). He has authored 3 international books (2004, Elsevier Science, Cambridge; 2009, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester; 2012, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester), more than 100 publications in peer reviewed journals or as book chapters (most of which as single author, and many other conference papers. His research focuses on fluid motion and stability behaviour, computational fluid dynamics, incompressible and compressible fluid flows, organic and inorganic materials sciences and crystal growth, multiphase flows, solidification, high-temperature gas-dynamics, particle dynamics and microgravity science. The current value of his Hirsch index is 20 (computed with Scopus).


At the University of Strathclyde he currently leads a group consisting of two Research Associates and several PhD Students. Over recent years he has secured over £1.5 million of external funding. Funds have been attracted from a set of different sources, e.g., EPSRC (EP/R043167/1) and STFC (ST/S006354/1). He seats in the Steering Committees of several conferences (ICTEA, ICCES, ICFVM, ParCFD, ICOME, ICCMREA, AMT, ICMAPH) and acts as a Reviewer for several funding bodies (EPSRC-UK, DFG-Germany, FNRS-Belgium, GIF-Israel, ANVUR-Italy, NSERC-Canada, NVSTE-Kazakhstan). Since 2005 he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the International Scientific Journal "Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing", which is currently abstracted and Indexed in SCOPUS and the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) of Web of Science (Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics Master Journal List).



On September 2013 He has attained a qualification (habilitation) to the rank of Full Professor (MIUR). He joined the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering of the University of Strathclyde as an Associate Professor in 2015 (Senior Lecturer, Academic grade 9) . On Oct 2017 he has taken on the role of Director of the MSc course in Mechanical Engineering (Programme Advisor of Studies) and on May 2019 he has been given the maximum Academic grade (Reader, Academic grade 10).



M. Lappa  (2004), Fluids, Materials and Microgravity: Numerical Techniques and Insights into the Physics,  538 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0-08-044508-3, ISBN-10: 00-804-4508-X, Elsevier Science (2004, Oxford, England)


M. Lappa (2009), Thermal Convection: Patterns, Evolution and Stability, 700 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0-470-69994-2, ISBN-10: 0470699949, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (2009, Chichester, England).


M. Lappa (2012), Rotating Thermal Flows in Natural and Industrial Processes, 540 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1-1199-6079-9, ISBN-10: 1119960797, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (2012, Chichester, England).


Click here for the complete list of publications

Selected publications

On the propagation and multiple reflections of a blast wave travelling through a dusty gas in a closed box
M. Lappa, D. Drikakis, I. Kokkinakis

Physics of Fluids (ISSN: 1070-6631), 29(3), 033301 (19 pages)

On the multiplicity and symmetry of particle attractors in confined non-isothermal fluids subjected to inclined vibrations
M. Lappa

Int. J. Multiphase Flow (ISSN: 0301-9322), 93: 71-83

On the effect of thermodiffusion on solute segregation during the growth of semiconductor materials by the vertical Bridgman method
M. Ben Sassia, S. Kaddeche, M. Lappa, S. Millet, D. Henry, H. Ben Hadid

J. Cryst. Growth  (ISSN: 0022-0248), 458: 154–165

Hydrothermal waves in two-dimensional liquid layers with sudden changes in the available cross-section
M. Lappa

Int. J. Num. Meth. Heat Fluid Flow (ISSN: 0961-5539), Accepted

On the General Properties of Steady Gravitational Thermal Flows of Liquid Metals in Variable Cross-section Containers
M. Lappa and H. Ferialdi

Review of Applied Physics (ISSN: 2327-1604), 5(1): 1-10

On the onset of multi-wave patterns in laterally heated floating zones for slightly supercritical conditions
M. Lappa

Physics of Fluids (ISSN: 1070-6631), 28(12): 124105 (22 pages)

Numerical study into the morphology and formation mechanisms of threedimensional particle structures in vibrated cylindrical cavities with various heating conditions
M. Lappa

Physical Review Fluids (ISSN: 2469-9918), 1(6), 064203 (25 pages)

On the nature, formation and diversity of particulate coherent structures in Microgravity Conditions and their relevance to materials science and problems of Astrophysical interest
M. Lappa

Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics (ISSN: 0309-1929), 110(4): 348-386

Patterning behaviour of gravitationally modulated supercritical Marangoni flow in liquid layers
M. Lappa

Phys. Rev. E Statistical Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics (ISSN: 2470-0045), 93(5), 053107, (13 pages)

A Mathematical and Numerical Framework for the Analysis of Compressible Thermal Convection in Gases at very high Temperatures
M. Lappa

Journal of Computational Physics (ISSN: 0021-9991), 313: 687–712

Control of convection patterning and intensity in shallow cavities by harmonic vibrations
M. Lappa

Microgravity Science & Technology (ISSN: 0938-0108), 28(1): 29-39

A Practical Engineering Approach to the Design and Manufacturing of a mini kW Blade Wind Turbine: Definition, optimization and CFD Analysis
G. Frulla , P. Gili, M. Visone , V. D'Oriano and M. Lappa

Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing (ISSN: 1555-256X), 11(3): 257-277

The JEREMI-Project on Thermocapillary Convection in Liquid Bridges. Part B: Impact of Co-axial Gas Flow
V. Shevtsova, Y. Gaponenko, H.C. Kuhlmann, M. Lappa, M. Lukasser, S. Matsumoto, A. Mialdun, J.M. Montanero, K. Nishino, and I. Ueno

Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing (ISSN: 1555-256X), 10(2), 197-240

The patterning behaviour and accumulation of spherical particles in a vibrated non-isothermal liquid
M. Lappa

Physics of Fluids (ISSN: 1070-6631), 26(9),  093301 (22 pages). DOI: 10.1063/1.4893078

Stationary Solid Particle Attractors in Standing Waves
M. Lappa

Physics of Fluids (ISSN: 1070-6631), 26(1), 013305 (12 pages)

The JEREMI-Project on thermocapillary convection in liquid bridges. Part A: Overview of Particle Accumulation Structures
H.C. Kuhlmann, M. Lappa, D. Melnikov, R. Mukin, F.H. Muldoon, D. Pushkin, V.S. Shevtsova, and I. Ueno

Fluid Dyn. Mater. Process. (ISSN: 1555-256X), 10 (1), 1-36

On the Existence and Multiplicity of One-dimensional Solid Particle Attractors in Time-dependent Rayleigh-BĂ©nard Convection
M. Lappa

Chaos (ISSN 1054-1500), 23(1), 013105 (9 pages)

On the variety of particle accumulation structures under the effect of gjitters
M. Lappa

Journal of Fluid Mechanics (ISSN: 0022-1120), 726: 160-195

Assessment of the role of axial vorticity in the formation of Particle Accumulation Structures (PAS) in supercritical Marangoni and hybrid thermocapillary-rotation-driven flows
M. Lappa

Physics of Fluids (ISSN: 1070-6631), 25(1) 012101 (11 pages)

Temperature distribution above a plant of gensets for the production of electrical energy from fossil fuel (Large Eddy Simulation)

Solid Particle Accumulation phenomena in surface-tension driven flow (liquid-bridge problem)

Hexagonal Marangoni-Benard convection in a layer of silicone oil.

Travelling wave in a layer of liquid metal due to gravitational (buoyancy) convection.

Solid particle structures produced by the application of vibrations to a non-isothermal fluid

Growing crystals of a macromolecular substance in a water solution

Solid Particle Accumulation phenomena in surface-tension driven flow (liquid-bridge problem, standing wave)

Turbulent thermal convection

Flow structure in a floating zone used for the production of an optoelectronic material

Growth of cartilage tissue in a rotating bioreactor

Research interests

Fluid mechanics, thermal sciences and related computational techniques are my primary research interests. Various scientific fields, including (but not limited to) thermal, mechanical and materials engineering, marine, aeronautical and aerospace engineering, organic and inorganic crystal growth, life sciences and many other related fields employ the results of these disciplines.


I am interested in studying problems of practical impact and enjoy the process of exploring applications in different domains, abstracting the essence of the considered subjects, and devising and analyzing techniques that offer solutions to a wide spectrum of real world applications. It is my experience that many superficially different problems, in fact, may share inherent characteristics. Understanding these aspects often enables us to tackle the problem at a deeper level and to develop better solutions that apply across a number of domains. I believe that, in addition to critical thinking and creativity, the ability to appreciate both industrial applications and fundamental research is equally important.

My current research team includes:

Paolo Capobianchi (Research Associate)

Thomas Burel (Research Associate)

Georgie Crewdson (PhD Student)

Alessio Boaro  (PhD Student)

Saad Inam (PhD Student)

Wasim Waris  (PhD Student)

The following list gives a brief account of the past and present research topics of immediate interest to me. These subjects include both canonical problems and emerging technologies.



Thermogravitational flows

  • Buoyancy convection 
  • High Temperature Thermal Convection in High Power Density Processes
  • Furnace Engineering
  • Buoyant rising jets originated from discrete sources of buoyancy



Multi phase flows 

  • Two-phase flows
  • Drop coalescence and aggregation phenomena
  • Drop coalescence and wetting prevention phenomena
  • Thermocapillary migration of drops and bubbles
  • Convective phenomena in liquid-liquid systems with a miscibility gap
  • Flows with phase change and/or crystallization.



Solid particle dynamics

  • Dynamics of dispersed particles in metal alloys and emulsions.
  • Solid Particle Sedimentation.
  • Solid particle spontaneous accumulation phenomena (inertial particle clustering).
  • Ordering and transport of small particles in incompressible flows.
  • Dynamics of particles in supersonic flow (blast wave propagation in dusty gas)



CFD applied to Materials Processing

  • Thermal, mechanical and electromagnetic control of stability of flows driven by convection in crystal growth processes and devices.
  • Modeling of solidifying interfaces (enthalpy method and related variants).
  • Numerical tracking of moving fronts and boundaries (for inorganic and organic crystal growth processes and for biological tissue growth).
  • Control of flow patterns and their stability  
  • Control of three-dimensional instabilities of convective flows by means of static magnetic fields
  • Control of three-dimensional instabilities of convective flows by means of thermovibrational effects



Thermocapillary (Marangoni) flows

  • Stability of Marangoni flow in cylindrical  liquid bridges and floating-column configurations
  • Marangoni flow in non-cylindrical (e.g., deformed by the effect of gravity) configurations
  • Marangoni flows in open (2D and 3D) cavities driven by temperature gradients along the free surface
  • Marangoni-Bènard systems (hexagonal flow patterns and subsequent transitions)
  • Thermal Marangoni flow around droplets surrounded by a miscible or immiscible liquid



Thermovibrational flows

  • Averaged models for flows driven by time-periodic forces (e.g., vibrations, g-jitter).
  • Vibration-induced (g-jitter) stabilization and destabilization of flows (crystal growth in microgravity and in normal gravity conditions)



Methods of numerical analysis in Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat/Mass Transfer

  • Finite volume method in computational fluid dynamics
  • Volume of Fluid (VOF) methods for tracking of moving fronts and boundaries 
  • Level set method for tracking of moving fronts and boundaries 



High Performance Computing

  • Parallelization of CFD codes on parallel computers (e.g., Cray T3E).
  • Parallelization programming tools (Message Passing Interface, MPI)



 Biological fluid dynamics

  • Growth, kinetics and morphological evolution of organic protein crystals.
  • Periodic precipitation and sedimentation of proteins (crystallization of organic substances in liquid phase, multi-crystal configurations).
  • Multiple crystal nucleation phenomena in liquid phase.
  • Evaluation of fluid dynamic effects on the growth and morphological stability of protein crystals.
  • Application of Volume of Fluid and level-set methods to the growth of protein crystals.



Tissue Engineering and CFD

  • Modeling of the growth of organic tissues in rotating bioreactors.
  • Analysis of shape evolution as a function of environmental factors (e.g., the shear fluid dynamic stress)
  • Application of VOF and level-set methods to the growth of biological tissue in vitro.