Joshua Brinkerhoff, PhD

Associate Professor

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

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Computational fluid dynamics; Turbomachinery; Multiphase turbulent flows; Hydrogen; Wind energy; 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. In addition to serving the School of Engineering as the Associate Director–Research & Industry Partnerships, Dr. Brinkerhoff leads the UBC-Okanagan Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. His research focuses on conducting high-fidelity numerical simulations on the mutual interaction of flow instabilities, phase instabilities, and turbulence in a variety of applications. These include biomedical (modelling emphysema development in lungs; growth of turbulence in abdominal aortic aneurysms); renewable energy (wind farm/atmosphere interactions; novel vertical-axis wind turbines; wind turbine aerodynamics); hydrogen safety (detonation risk of hydrogen-blended natural gas; codes & standards for hydrogen technologies in transportation and aviation); cryogenics (liquid hydrogen storage, spills, and phase transitions; cavitation in liquid cryogens); and aerospace (all-electric aviation; hydrogen fuel for aerospace propulsion 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
    • Growth of turbulence in abdominal aortic aneurysms
  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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