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New NSF grants to support research in oceanography and Cantera software development

Great news! The Niemeyer Research Group was awarded two research grants from the National Science Foundation in fall 2019. Both will last three years, but focus on different topics. Both grants also involve collaborations with researchers outside Oregon State University.

The first grant, titled “Submesoscale-Resolving Large Eddy Simulations Using Reduced Biogeochemical Models”, will support research into better understanding interactions between fluid flow and biogeochemistry in the upper layers of the ocean. The award is for just under $250,000 spread over three years. This money will primarily support a PhD student’s tuition and salary, along with a bit of Kyle’s summer time and some travel to conferences. The project is a collaboration with Peter Hamlington and Nikki Lovenduski at CU Boulder.

Our work will mostly focus on developing ways of reducing the size and complexity of the models used to describe biogeochemical processes in the ocean—this means the interactions in things like phytoplankton, carbon dioxide, and other nutrients. We will also introduce new, more-efficient methods for running simulations of these processes in the ocean, to help study how they interact with turbulent flows. In the long run, our work could help improve how ocean processes are studied in climate models.

The second project, titled “Extensible and Community-Driven Thermodynamics, Transport, and Chemical Kinetics Modeling with Cantera: Expanding to Diverse Scientific Domains”, is part of a larger collaboration led by Prof. Steven DeCaluwe at the Colorado School of Mines, and also involves Greg Jackson and Bob Kee there, as well as Franklin Goldsmith (Brown), Ray Speth (MIT), Bryan Weber (UConn), and Richard West (Northeastern). The overall project awarded our group $2.5 million to enable new scientific modeling capabilities, improvements to the Cantera software architecture, and perform community development activities.

Cantera is an open-source suite of tools for problems involving chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, and transport processes.

Cantera already has thousands of users in research and education, mostly concentrated in the combustion and fire research community, and this project aims to extend support for broader fields including electrochemistry, heterogeneous catalysis, and atmospheric chemistry.

This award will enable members of the group to contribute to Cantera’s future in a significant way. Specifically, our group will be focusing on helping make Cantera more extensible, such as helping make it interoperable with computational fluid dynamics solvers, and also working on its numerics to improve performance.

Stay tuned for updates on both of these projects!



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