Joshua Brinkerhoff

Associate Professor

Other Titles: Associate Director, Research & Industrial Partnerships
Office: EME4217
Phone: 250.807.8238

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Laminar-to-turbulent transition; Turbomachinery in the LNG industry; Multiphase turbulent flows; Air quality simulation; Biofluid mechanics

Courses & Teaching

Mechanics of materials; Alternative energy systems; Turbulence; Computational fluid dynamics; Aircraft conceptual design & aerodynamics


Dr. Brinkerhoff received his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Carleton University in Ottawa, ON. Having grown up in Kelowna, he is excited to return home to establish the UBC-Okanagan Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. His primary research focus is on how flow instabilities and turbulence affect the performance and efficiency of the processes and equipment used in the aerospace, nuclear, and oil and gas industries. He is also interested in the simulation of multiphase, turbulent flows as an analysis tool for compressed and liquefied natural gas (CNG and LNG) systems and to study the dispersion of atmospheric pollutants in urban and agricultural environments and in buildings employing passive ventilation systems.


UBC-Okanagan Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory


PhD, Aerospace Engineering (Carleton University)
BEng, Aerospace Engineering (Carleton University)

Research Interests & Projects

  1. Laminar-to-turbulent transition
    • Leading-edge effects in swept boundary layers
    • Roughness and wake effects on growth of turbulent spots
    • Direct numerical simulation
  2. Turbomachinery in the LNG industry
    • Predicting cavitation and transition in LNG turbomachinery
  3. Multiphase turbulent flows
    • DNS of turbulence in fluidized bed reactors
    • Effect of turbulence on mineral extraction from wastewater streams
  4. Air quality simulation
    • Transition in buoyancy-dominated flows
    • Pollutant transport in passively-ventilated buildings
    • Dispersion of volatile gas or liquid spills in the atmosphere
  5. Biofluid mechanics
    • Simulations of airflow in the lungs
    • Simulating the impact of lung disease on respiratory air flows
  6. Wind energy
    • Leading-edge droops to enhance the performance of horizontal-axis wind turbines
    • Energy harvesting from the wakes of highway vehicles via vertical-axis wind turbine
    • Large eddy simulation of wind farm blockage and induction effects

Selected Publications & Presentations

List of publications


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