Care of Shutterstock - Cargo ships entering one of the busiest ports in the world, Singapore.
The L&R project is a close collaboration between four universities (Plymouth University - PU, University of Oxford, The Manchester Metropolitan University - MMU, City University London - City) working together to combine and apply their expertise to different aspects of the problem. 
The aim of the proposed project is to develop an accurate and efficient numerical model that can be applied routinely for the analysis of the motion and loadings of two bodies in close proximity with or without physical connection in high sea-states. 
The efficiency of the code will be achieved firstly by adopting a zonal approach, in which an integrated NWT employing a hierarchy of flow models from FNPT to incompressible/compressible NS equations for the specific flow problem will be developed. Secondly, a massively parallel implementation that targets emerging high performance computing architectures will be developed. As an integral part of the project a complementary experimental programme will be conducted in the Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport (COAST) laboratory, providing improved understanding of the underlying wave and body dynamics, and validating the new numerical model. 
L&R – A zonal CFD approach for fully nonlinear simulations of two vessels in Launch and Recovery operations
The proposed new numerical tool is designed to simulate the complex nonlinear interactions of the problem and is a novel alternative to current practice based on linearised approximations with severe limitations in high sea states. Together with the unique experimental datasets to bring further insight to the complex interactions and to validate the numerical tool, in the long-term, this new work will enable the safety of manoeuvres at sea to be improved and possible future development of real-time simulation tools and automation of operations. 

Project objectives

  1. Develop models for interfaces between domains and adapt the integrated NWT model for the target flow problem involving two vessels in high sea-states.
  2. Develop overset meshing tools and adapt the integrated NWT model to consider launch and recovery of one vessel from another.
  3. Develop nonlinear wave absorbing models and test the ability of the integrated solver to reduce the effects of wave reflection on the incoming wave.
  4. Run a series of carefully configured wave tank tests for validating the developed CFD model. Data will be made openly available to other projects.
  5. Massively parallelise the code to run on clusters of both multi-core CPUs and GPUs.
  6. Develop tools for hydro-elastic interactions: rigid, semi-rigid and compliant.
  7. Use international standards for simulation coordinate systems and provide an interface to allow the developed CFD codes to take part in a wider scoped simulation, e.g. where the small craft is modelled using third-party software.

​Collaborating Universities

Coast Engineering Research Group - Plymouth University
Professor Deborah Greaves, Director of the Coast Engineering Research Group
Professor Gregorio Iglesias​, Pro​fessor in Coastal Engineering​ 
Dr Martyn​ Hann, Lecturer in Coastal Engineering
Department of Engineering Science - University of Oxford​
Professor Paul Taylor, Director of Studies for Engineering Science at Keble College
School of Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology - The Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)​
Professor Derek Causon, Professor of Computational Fluid Dynamics
Professor Clive Mingham, Professor of Computational Hydraulics
Dr Ling Qian, Senior Lecturer in Computational Fluid Dynamics
School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences - City University London (City)​
Professor Qingwei Ma, Professor of Hydrodynamics, Head of Hydrodynamics Research Group at City
​Dr Shiqiang Yan, Lecturer in Hydrodynamics

​Industrial Partners 

ESI: Dr Rajab Said, Academic and R&D Collaboration Manager, email:
SEA: Dr Gary Henry, Senior Principal Engineer, email:
Zenotech Simulation Unlimited: Jamil Appa, Director and Co-Founder, email: jamil.appa@zenotech.comand Dr Mark Allan, Product Lead, Noise and Vibration, email:
BAE Systems: Dr Richard Trumper, Naval ships, Head R&T, email:
RNLI: Will Roberts, Innovation Manager, email:

L&R Project Publications

Journal Papers

Wang, J., Ma, Q. W., & Yan, S. (2017). On Quantitative Errors of Two Simplified Unsteady Models for Simulating Unidirectional Nonlinear Random Waves on Large Scale in Deep Sea. Physics of Fluids (In press)

Yang, L., Yang, H., Yan, S., & Ma, Q. (2017). Numerical Investigation of Water-Entry Problems Using IBM Method. International Journal of Offshore and Polar Engineering, 27(02), 152-159.

Wang, J., Ma, Q. W., & Yan, S. (2016). A hybrid model for simulating rogue waves in random seas on a large temporal and spatial scale. Journal of Computational Physics, 313, 279-309.

Ma, Q. W., Zhou, Y., & Yan, S. (2016). A review on approaches to solving Poisson’s equation in projection-based meshless methods for modelling strongly nonlinear water waves. Journal of Ocean Engineering and Marine Energy, 2(3), 279-299.

Yang, H., Yan, S., Ma, Q., Lu, J., & Zhou, Y. (2016). Turbulence modelling and role of compressibility on oil spilling from a damaged double hull tank. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 83(11), 841–865.

P.J. Martinez Ferrer, D.M. Causon, L. Qian, C. G. Mingham, Z.H. Ma, 2016, A multi-region coupling scheme for compressible and incompressible flow solvers for two-phase flow in a numerical wave tank. Computers and Fluids 125, P116-129.


Conference Papers

Wang, J., Ma, Q. W., & Yan, S. (2016, June). Numerical Investigation on Spectrum Evolution of Narrow-Banded Random Waves in Shallow Water Based on KdV and Fully Nonlinear Model. In ASME 2016 35th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering. American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Busan, South Korea.

Yan, S., Ma, Q. W., Wang, J., & Zhou, J. (2016, June). Self-Adaptive Wave Absorbing Technique for Nonlinear Shallow Water Waves. In ASME 2016 35th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering. American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Busan, South Korea.

Yang, H., Yan, S., & Ma, Q. (2016, June). Effects of tank motion on oil spilling from damaged oil tanks. In The 26th International Ocean and Polar Engineering Conference. International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers. Rhodes, Greece.

Yang, L., Yang, H., Yan, S., Ma, Q., & Bihnam, M. (2016, June). Comparative study on water impact problem. In The 26th International Ocean and Polar Engineering Conference. International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers. Rhodes, Greece.