Historical sketch of Fluid Mechanics

Historical sketch of Fluid Mechanics

Picture of Dr Allen in 1970The Department of Engineering was founded in 1923 and primarily focused on forming the next-generation of engineers for the post-War period, as they were in high-demand for the rebuild of Europe. In 1946, Professor Jack Allen was appointed to the Jackson Chair and started a long tradition of excellence on civil engineering hydraulics at the University of Aberdeen. His research interest was originally on shoaling in the estuary of River Tay, but it was later extended to study sediment transport and tidal flows.

Hydraulics Research Group and collaborators (1968), from right to left: Mr J. Low (Dept. Superintendent), D.W. Knight, Prof. J. Allen, K.C. Imrie, J.F. Robbie (behind), G.D. Matthew, J.M. Townson, B.B. Willetts, unidentified visitor.Dr Allen's seminal contributions to the fluid mechanics research field attracted a new generation of scientists that led to the formation of the Hydraulic Research Group in the 60’s, including Profs Lawson, Matthews and Knight. By the end of 90’s, the Hydraulic Research Group has outgrown its initial remit and expanded the research fields to hydro-electric coupling, structural engineering, unsteady flows in pipe systems and sediment transport in rivers.

The late 90’s and the arrival of the 21st century brought new scientific challenges to the Research group. Profs O’Donoghue,  Pokrajac, Reese, Guo and Nikora have introduced novel research directions and international collaborations that led to a number of projects and to the construction of novel facilities.

Find out more about the history of Engineering in Aberdeen from a fluid mechanics perspective here: Download PDF