Ross Calvert

  • Supervisor: Dr Tom Rendall
  • Project: Modelling Turbulent Whitewater Features using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics

The background for my final year project comes from interest in whitewater kayaking. I spent a little time looking for potential gaps in knowledge, design or tools in industry used so that my project may be useful. I found that multimillion pound artificial whitewater courses are designed with little to no numerical modelling, such as Lee Valley whitewater course for the London 2012 Olympics, instead relying on expensive scale modelling. My project aimed to provide a proof of concept for modelling the hydraulics of turbulent rapids which tied my passion for whitewater kayaking and interest in computational fluid dynamics.

Being able to choose the area of your project and starting with a literature review in third year allows you to grasp the subject content, and the opportunity to change project, before really getting stuck in in fourth year. The project developed my independent working whilst tacking a problem you don’t know how to solve using up to date innovative research papers, which sets you up for the next step in your career. Having a top researcher to guide you and point you in the right direction was useful but it is very much built from your creativity and own work.

The final year project was the highlight of my university work and pulled all my knowledge learned throughout my four years and felt like such a sense of achievement. I’m spending the summer continuing working on a part of it with the aim to get it published.


Before university I went to a comprehensive school in Oxfordshire and did maths, further maths, physics, and chemistry A Levels. Bristol has been such as great city which has so much to offer outside of academia; I got involved in a few clubs and societies which mainly revolved around being outside and extreme sports. I was fortunate enough to spend my third year studying in southern California at UCI and had one of the most incredible years of my life in the sunshine. My future plans are to carry on working on my project over summer before going to New Zealand for six months to be a whitewater raft guide and then start a PhD in computational fluid dynamics at Edinburgh University.

Ross Calvert, Aerospace Engineering (MEng)
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