Keynote speakers

Professor Chris Baker

From idea to implementation - 35 years of research into wind effects on trees and crops


Chris Baker is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Fluid Mechanics at the University of Birmingham. He gained BA, MA and PhD degrees from St Catharine’s College Cambridge and has since worked for British Rail Research and the Universities of Cambridge, Nottingham and Birmingham. At Birmingham he has held the posts of Director of Teaching in the School of Engineering, Head of Civil Engineering and Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education. Following his retirement at the end of 2017, he continues to be involved in research in train aerodynamics, wind engineering, transport issues and also other non-technical areas. In July 2020 he was awarded the Davenport Medal, the senior award of the International Association of Wind Engineering.

Dr Girma Bitsuamlak 

Advances in computational and experimental wind engineering for resilient and sustainable built environment


Dr. Girma Bitsuamlak is a Professor of Wind Engineering and Director of Western University's WindEEE Research Facilities, including the WindEEE Dome, Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel, and Three Little Pigs Laboratories. He also leads the Sharcnet advanced research computing center. His research centers on wind-resilient built environment, focusing on two key areas: modeling the impact of extreme synoptic and non-synoptic wind phenomena on buildings e.g., hurricane and tornado, respectively; and unraveling the interplay between aerodynamics and other micro-climate factors for sustainable building design.  

Dr. Bitsuamlak's research combines computational fluid dynamics-based simulations using high-performance computing with physical experiments at the WindEEE Research Facilities ( He is a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers and has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in journals and conference proceedings focused on wind engineering and building science, employing both computational and experimental approaches. He recently completed two terms as a Canada Research Chair in Wind Engineering.

Professor Catherine Gorlé

Exploring the Potential of Joint Field Measurements and Numerical Simulations For Wind Engineering


Catherine Gorlé is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. Her research activities focus on the development of predictive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations to support the design of sustainable buildings and cities. Specific topics of interest are: the coupling of large- and small-scale models and experiments to quantify uncertainties related to the variability of boundary conditions, the development of uncertainty quantification methods for low-fidelity models using high-fidelity data, and the use of data assimilation to improve CFD predictions. 

Catherine received her BSc (2002) and MSc (2005) degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the Delft University of Technology, and her PhD (2010) from the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in cooperation with the University of Antwerp. She has been the recipient of a Stanford Center for Turbulence Research Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010), a Pegasus Marie Curie Fellowship (2012), and an NSF CAREER award (2018).

Professor Fred Haan

How studying tornadoes fundamentally changes how we should study bluff-bodies


Fred Haan is a Professor of Engineering at Calvin University. He has conducted research in wind engineering for more than 20 years primarily in experimental aerodynamics and extreme wind simulation techniques. Fred received his PhD from the University of Notre Dame, and has worked on wind-induced vibration of long-span bridges, vortex-induced vibrations, atmospheric boundary layer simulation, and a range of applications of laboratory tornado simulations. While on the faculty at Iowa State University, he was part of the team that developed and built the world’s first large tornado simulator intended to test tornado-induced loading on buildings and structures.  

Professor Sinisa Krajnovic

Wake bi-stability in vehicle aerodynamics 


Sinisa Krajnovic is Full Professor of Computational Fluid Dynamics and Head of Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences at Chalmers University of Technology. He has conducted research in automotive aerodynamics in the last 26 years, aiming at improving vehicle performance regarding energy consumption, stability relevant to road and rail safety and other aerodynamic aspects. The core of his research consists of development of unsteady numerical techniques and their applications in road vehicle and train aerodynamics, aerodynamic shape optimization and flow control techniques for improvement of aerodynamic performance of vehicles. Professor Krajnovic has published more than 200 scientific papers in international scientific journals and reviewed conference proceedings and has more than 5500 citations.   


Professor Claudio Mannini

Large-scale turbulence parametric effects on the aeroelastic behaviour of bluff bodies: from a rectangular cylinder to long-span bridges


Claudio Mannini is Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Florence, Italy. He got the Ph.D. degree from the University of Florence and TU Braunschweig (Germany) in 2006. Since 2021, he is the Director of the Interuniversity Research Centre for Building Aerodynamics and Wind Engineering (CRIACIV) and Scientific Manager of the CRIACIV Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel. He received the ANIV Award in 2008, the IAWE Junior Award in 2011, and the EASD Junior Research Prize in 2014. His main research interests are bluff-body aerodynamics and wind-induced vibrations, with a special passion for long-span bridges, addressed from theoretical, computational, and experimental points of view.

Professor Maarten van Reeuwijk

Incorporating trees in high-fidelity wind and microclimate simulations


Maarten van Reeuwijk is a Professor in Urban Fluid Mechanics in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London. Maarten's research interests comprise large-eddy simulation of urban areas with applications to urban air quality, turbulent dispersion, urban heat islands, microclimate and blue-green solutions. He is a specialist in turbulence and buoyancy driven flows and uses this knowledge to improve urban design through understanding the interaction between the atmosphere and the urban surfaces. Maarten is co-director of the UK Urban Fluid Mechanics Special interest group and is part of the management committee of the UK turbulence consortium. 

Dr Christina Vanderwel 

Water tunnel models of urban aerodynamics and air pollution


Christina Vanderwel is an Associate Professor and UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at the University of Southampton. Her research uses experimental fluid dynamics to study turbulent transport in atmospheric boundary layers. She previously held a Marie-Curie Fellowship studying turbulent boundary layers over fractal roughness. She earned her MSc and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa, Canada, studying turbulent diffusion in uniformly sheared flow.

Contact us

Event Management Team, Great Hall, Aston Webb Building, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TT