The aim of our research is to develop the fundamental formulations of SPH, develop new approaches to accelerate simulations using novel hardware, and use the new SPH methodologies to provide new insight into novel applications. Our research is highly collaborative with many other research groups around the world, collaborating with both universities and industrial companies. Below you will find examples of our current research:

New SPH methodologies

Developing the SPH methodology is essential to widen its use and applicability. SPH@Manchester is leading the development of SPH in many areas:

  • Compressible and Incompressible SPH can be be used to represent fluids. We have developed the world’s first stabilised free-surface incompressible SPH solvers.
  • Fluid-structure interaction is present in many applications and we are developing new methodologies to treat highly flexible thin and thick structures.
  • High-order SPH is an emerging but active area of research.
  • Multi-phase flows are present in all many areas of industrial application and SPH is ideal thanks to the particle belonging to different phases.
  • Particle Adaptivity is needed to avoid unnecessary computational effort to provide finer resolution only in areas of interest and is being actively developed with our collaborators at the University of Parma (Italy).
  • Shallow-water solvers are required to simulate flooding and tsunami inundation over large areas and are being developed with the University of Parma (simulation below by Dr Renato Vacondio).


Simulation acceleration with novel hardware

With SPH being a computationally intensive activity, SPH must be accelerated using computer hardware to enable simulations to be performed within as short a time as possible. We actively develop new approaches in two key areas:

  • Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) enable SPH simulations with millions of particles to be performed using a laptop or workstation PC. Collaborations with University of Vigo (Spain) have created the open-source DualSPHysics software with multi-phase, incompressible or weakly compressible, fluid-structure interaction capabililty.
  • Massive Parallelisation is required for applications requiring 100s of millions of particles. With STFC, we have developed a strictly incompressible SPH solver to run on the national supercomputer using 10,000s of computing cores or threads.

Simulation of a wave breaking over a rig, using SPH and more than 1000 million particles

SPH applications

At Manchester, our development of new SPH methodologies is motivated by challenging applications. The range of potential applications of SPH is enormous thanks to its moving particles, whose properties can change during a simulation. SPH can be used to provide new insight into physical processes and engineering applications. Below are just some of the applications currently under development:

  • Energy devices are essential to meet the energy demands of the future and are often placed in highly aggressive environments such as offshore. SPH is ideal to simulate the highly violent impact flows.
  • Fuel sloshing occurs in the tanks of automotive vehicles and aircraft. We develop SPH for the violent multi-phase flows in highly complex geometries.
  • Multi-phase flows occur in many industries where two or more fluids interact. SPH@Manchester has has collaborated with multiple engineering companies where multi-phase simulations are essential.
  • Tsunamis and flooding involve large-scale movement of water often containing debris and sediment. As a meshless method, SPH is ideal for these applications overcoming many of the limitations of traditional methods used in industry.
  • Wave-structure interaction is a classical application of SPH and is still being actively developed using the new methodologies pioneered by SPH@Manchester, including tsunami-wave-structure interaction.

Simulation of fuel sloshing using SPH


Find out about research opportunities in SPH and how to apply.

Meet the team

Find contact details for our academic staff and researchers in the SPH group.