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Professor Duncan Lockerby

Academic profile photograph

Professor Duncan Lockerby

Head of Research 
Deputy Head of School

D dot Lockerby at warwick dot ac dot uk
+44 (0) 24 7652 3132

Google Scholar ORCID


Duncan Lockerby is Professor in the Fluid Dynamics Research Centre at the University of Warwick, where he has been since 2006. His research interests lie in: nanoscale fluid mechanics; multiscale modelling; microscale (rarefied) gas dynamics; flow control and drag reduction; and biological fluid mechanics. He has worked in partnership with a number of UK institutions, over a number of years, on the multiscale modelling of micro and nanoflows ( This collaborative team is currently funded by an EPSRC Programme Grant ( that Lockerby leads. Recent published work includes understanding the role of kinetic effects on the evaporation of nanodroplets (Phys. Rev. Lett. 123, 154501; web article: and a re-evaluation of the Rayleigh-Plateau instability at the nanoscale (J. Fluid. Mech. 861: R3; Physics Today article: Administrative roles at Warwick include Head of Research and Deputy Head for the School of Engineering.

Research Interests

Fluid flows at the micro and nano-scale are characterised by non-equilibrium and non-continuum effects that place them beyond the modelling scope of conventional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Typically, a molecular or particle treatment of the liquid or gas, and any bounding surface, is required to accurately resolve such flows. However, the cost of these particle-based simulations is prohibitively costly for all but the simplest cases. In my research I explore a number of approaches to tackle these modelling challenges and use them to investigate the fundamental physics of fluid mechanics at the micro/nano scale. Three approaches I have been particularly interested in are: the ‘hybrid’ approach, which combines the efficiency of CFD with the accuracy of particle simulation; extended hydrodynamics, whereby continuum equations are solved that reach beyond the scale limitations of the Navier-Stokes model; and fluctuating hydrodynamics, where thermal noise is incorporated into continuum models to capture important nanoscale interfacial phenomena.

Teaching Interests

Selected Publications

(for complete list see Google Scholar)

Yixin Zhang, James E Sprittles, Duncan A Lockerby (2021) Thermal capillary wave growth and surface roughening of nanoscale liquid films. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 915, pdf, arXiv

Mykyta V Chubynsky, Kirill I Belousov, Duncan A Lockerby, James E Sprittles (2020) Bouncing off the walls: The influence of gas-kinetic and van der waals effects in drop impact. Physical Review Letters, 124, 084501, pdf.

Chengxi Zhao, Duncan A Lockerby, James E Sprittles (2020) Dynamics of liquid nanothreads: Fluctuation-driven instability and rupture, Physical Review Fluids, 5(4), 044201, pdf

AS Rana, DA Lockerby, JE Sprittles (2019) Lifetime of a Nanodroplet: Kinetic Effects and Regime Transitions. Physical Review Letters, 123, 154501. open access

Zhao, Chengxi, Sprittles, James E. and Lockerby, Duncan A. (2019) Revisiting the Rayleigh-Plateau instability for the nanoscale. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 861. R3. doi:10.1017/jfm.2018.950

R Claydon, A Shrestha, AS Rana, JE Sprittles, DA Lockerby (2017) Fundamental solutions to the regularised 13-moment equations: Efficient computation of three-dimensional kinetic effects. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 833, R4. download 

D.A. Lockerby, B. Collyer (2016) Fundamental solutions to moment equations for the simulation of microscale gas flows. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 806: 413-436. Preprint

D Stephenson, DA Lockerby (2016) A generalized optimization principle for asymmetric branching in fluidic networks. Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 472: 20160451. Preprint

DA Lockerby, A Patronis, MK Borg, JM Reese (2015) Asynchronous coupling of hybrid models for efficient simulation of multiscale systems. Journal of Computational Physics, 284: 261-272. Preprint

D.A. Lockerby & J.M. Reese (2008) On the modelling of isothermal gas flows at the micro scale. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 604, pp. 235-261. Preprint.

C.A. Duque-Daza, M.F. Baig, D.A. Lockerby, S.I. Chernyshenko & C. Davies (2012) Modelling turbulent skin-friction control using linearized Navier-Stokes equations. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 702, pp. 403-414. Preprint

D.A. Lockerby, C.A. Duque-Daza, M.K. Borg & J.M. Reese (2013) Time-step coupling for hybrid simulations of multiscale flows. Journal of Computational Physics, 237:344-365. Preprint

M.K. Borg, D.A. Lockerby & J.M. Reese (2013) A multiscale method for micro/nano flows of high aspect ratio. J. Comp. Phys. 233, pp 400-413

A. Patronis and D.A. Lockerby (2014) Multiscale simulation of non-isothermal microchannel gas flows. J. Comp. Phys. 270, pp 532-543. (PDF - Open Access)

Projects and Grants

Past Grants

  • EPSRC project: "The First Open-Source Software for Non-Continuum Flows in Engineering" EP/K038664/1, with Univ. Edinburgh and STFC Daresbury Laboratory. FEC value: ~£1.1m.
  • Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant: Skating on thin nanofilms: how liquid drops impact solids
  • EPSRC Programme Grant: "Non-equilibrium Fluid Dynamics for Micro/Nano Engineering Systems" EP/I011927/1, with Univ. Strathclyde and STFC Daresbury Laboratory. FEC value: £2.75m.
  • EPSRC project (with Dstl): "Extended Continuum Models for Transient and Rarefied Hypersonic Aerothermodynamics" EP/F014201/1. FEC value: 78k (total project 506k)
  • EPSRC project (with EADS and Airbus): "Investigation of alternative drag-reduction strategies in turbulent boundary layers by using wall forcing" (July 2009-June 2012) EP/G060215/1. FEC value: £535k (total project £1.1m)
  • EPSRC project (with Airbus): "Scalable Wirelessly Interconnected Flow-control Technology (SWIFT)" (Dec 2008-Nov 2009). FEC value: £216k (total project 446k)
  • EPSRC project (with Airbus): "Novel passive techniques for reducing skin-friction drag" EP/F004753/1 (Nov 2007-Oct 2008). FEC value: £228k.
  • Daiwa Foundation Small Grant "Japanese/UK collaboration on micro-scale fluid dynamics", 2008 (£1,300)
  • Nuffield Foundation project: "Simulation of Drag Reduction by the Use of Micro Devices" NAL/32662 (May 2005-Apr 2008). Value ~5k.