Fluids and Thermal Engineering Research Group

Image of Mirco Magnini

Mirco Magnini

Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering



I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Nottingham. I received a Master Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bologna, Italy, and a PhD in Energy Engineering from the same institution in 2012. From 2013 to 2017 I was a post-doc research assistant at the Laboratory of Heat and Mass Transfer, EPFL, Switzerland, where our research into numerical and theoretical modelling of microchannel flow boiling was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Prior to joining the UoN, I was a post-doc research associate in the Chemical Engineering Dept of Imperial College London where I worked on the numerical modelling of wax deposition in crude oil flows.

I am a member and vice-Chair of the Virtual International Research Institute of Two-Phase Flow and Heat Transfer (VIR2AL), a portal where many international labs share their experimental and numerical data for two-phase flows and heat transfer, and where I curate an open-access tutorial on OpenFOAM.

I am Associate Editor for Elsevier's International Journal of Thermal Sciences (THESCI), a member of the Physical Sciences Working Group at the European Space Agency, and a member of the Thermofluids group at IMechE.

Google scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=sojqhgUAAAAJ&hl=en

Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mirco_Magnini

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/mirco-magnini-5504886a

Expertise Summary

My research activity focuses on the investigation of the many fundamental mechanisms and phenomena governing multiphase flows, heat transfer, phase change and phase separation in confined geometries. My field of expertise spans across:

  • Multiphase flows (both macro and microscale)
  • Heat transfer
  • Phase change/separation
  • Thermo-fluid dynamics
  • Multiphase computational fluid dynamics
  • Use/development of CFD tools (ANSYS Fluent, Openfoam, Basilisk, in-house codes in Matlab/Python)
  • Theoretical modelling of thin film flows and solution of the resulting ODEs

Teaching Summary

Modules that I am currently teaching:

  • MMME3086 Computer Modelling Techniques (convenor: Dr Mirco Magnini)

  • MMME2047 Thermodynamics & Fluid Mechanics 2 (convenor: Dr Don Giddings)

Research Summary

Boiling flows in microchannel evaporators

Heat and mass transport in microchannels is key to diverse applications that span many disciplines in science and engineering, from mechanical, chemical, energy, and environmental engineering, to biological and medical science. My research in this field aims to characterise the fluid mechanics and heat transfer associated with long gas bubbles propagating in noncircular channels in both adiabatic and diabatic (boiling) conditions, using a combination of theoretical and computational methods; check out our most recent publications:

  • M. Magnini et al., Int J Multiphase Flow 148 (2022) 103939. Link
  • F. Municchi et al., Int J Heat Mass Transfer 195 (2022) 123166. Link
  • F. Municchi et al., Appl. Therm. Eng. 238 (2024) 122039. Link

This research is funded by a £1.6M EPSRC grant (GoW) with Imperial College and Brunel University.

Boiling flows in micro-pin-fin evaporators

Micro-pin-fin evaporators represent an alternative geometry to multi-microchannel evaporators as compact and efficient solutions to dissipate heat from high power-density devices. In micro-pin-fin evaporators, the fluid flows through a gap where cylindrical obstacles are positioned in a cross-flow arrangement. However, while the dynamics of bubbles is relatively well established for straight channels, very little is known about how bubbles propagate in these complex geometries. PhD student Ismail El Mellas is currently working on developing numerical models in OpenFOAM to tackle this problem, check out his most recent publications:

  • I. El Mellas et al., Int J Multiphase Flow 163 (2023) 104443. Link
  • I. El Mellas et al., Int J Heat Mass Transf 228 (2024) 125620. Link

Hybrid atomistic-continuum simulations of boiling

The next generation of science depends on solving the problem of linking simulations at different scales. In many physical processes, phenomena happening at the molecular scale determine the large-scale dynamics of the system. Boiling represents one such problem, where bubbles nucleating at the nanoscale depart from hot surfaces owing to fluid dynamics forces originating from millimetre-scale flow structures. To date, there is no existing modelling framework that can simultaneously capture all the relevant scales of this flow, that require molecular dynamics simulations at the nanoscale coupled with traditional continuum-scale techniques based on the control-volume formulation of the Navier-Stokes equations. In a collaboration with Brunel University London (Dr. E. Smith), funded by an eCSE-ARCHER2 grant, we have recently coupled LAMMPS and OpenFOAM to perform multiscale simulations of boiling with a MD-CFD domain decomposition technique.

  • M. Magnini, G. Gennari, E. R. Smith, G. J. Pringle, Coupling LAMMPS and OpenFOAM for Multi-Scale Models, free ARCHER2 webinar delivered on 19/07/2023. Link
  • G. Gennari et al., Int J Therm Sci 200 (2024) 108954. Link

Stochastic design for additive manufacturing

In a collaboration with the Additive Manufacturing group at Nottingham (Prof. A. Clare; now at UBC), we are developing methods and design tools to implement stochastic design on surfaces and lattices that may have wide range of applications from improving structural mechanics to heat transfer. Dr Jan Hendrik Groth has just completed his PhD on this topic and you can read his most recent publications here:

  • J.-H. Groth et al., Additive Manufacturing 49 (2022) 102488. Link
  • J.-H. Groth et al., Additive Manufacturing 55 (2022) 102739. Link

Evaporation in porous media for thermal management of fuel cells

With colleagues at EPFL (Prof. Sophia Haussener), we are developing advanced computational tools for the pore-scale numerical simulation of water evaporation within gas diffusion layers of PEM fuel cells, which provides simultaneous cooling and humidification of the fuel cell. Check out our most recent publication:

  • S. van Rooij, Appl Thermal Eng (2021) 116460. Link

Two-phase flows in millimetric channels

With colleagues at Imperial College London (Prof. Matar) and Princeton University (Prof. Stone), we are studying the dynamics of thin films and long bubbles transported in channels of mm-size, in a regime where viscous, capillary and buoyancy effects all play a role. Within horizontal channels, buoyancy effects elevate the bubble above the channel centreline and tend to ovalize the bubble cross-section. In vertical channels, interesting different dynamics are observed depending on the direction of the bulk liquid flow. Our most recent publications are available here:

  • Y. E. Yu et al., J Fluid Mech 911 (2021) A34. Link
  • H. Moran et al., Int J Multiph Flow 135 (2021) 103468. Link

Recent Publications

Future Research

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers from Home, EU and international countries who are interested in the following research areas: multiphase flows, microscale flows, computational methods for two-phase flows, thermal management of electronics, oil & gas.

The following funding opportunities are available for talented prospective PhD students and post-docs:

  • Nottingham Research Fellowships link
  • UoN's International research scholarships link

  • Marie-Curie individual fellowships link

  • Royal Society's fellowships: link

Other useful info and links available here: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/engineering/funding/postgraduate/index.aspx

Fluids and Thermal Engineering Research Group

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD