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Prof Daniel Lecoanet receives major Simons Foundation grant for interdisciplinary project

CIERA Professor Daniel Lecoanet has assembled an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional team to tackle challenges in fluid dynamics. The team’s project: “Fundamental Fluid Processes in Climate, Stellar, and Planetary Modeling” was recently awarded a 4-year, $4M Simons Foundation grant to fund the multifaceted research.

Joining Professor Lecoanet is Michael Le Bars (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), Jerome Noir (ETH Zurich), Stefan Llewellyn Smith (University of California, San Diego), Tiffany Shaw (University of Chicago), and William Young (University of California, San Diego). Together these experts in astrophysics, atmospheric science, oceanography, and planetary science aim to answer the questions: What will the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans look like at the end of the century? What are the fates of the stars and planets observed in unprecedented detail with recent space missions? By collaborating between disciplines, Lecoanet and his team hope to determine the governing principles behind physical processes that are common across their fields, and apply these to improve global evolution models. The project will combine theoretical, numerical, and experimental approaches.

Prof Lecoanet himself is a member of Northwestern’s Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics (McCormick School of Engineering). He is broadly interested in astrophysical and geophysical fluid dynamics. Most of his work surrounds numerical simulations of stellar interiors. He is particularly interested in the interaction of stellar convective and radiative zones. He is a core developer of the Dedalus code, which can solve a wide class of partial differential equations using spectral methods.

The Simons Foundation, founded in 1994 by Jim and Marilyn Simons, is designed to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. In pursuit of this mission, they champion basic science through grant funding, support for research, and public engagement.

Congratulations, Prof Lecoanet!