S. (Stefan) Hickel S. (Stefan) Hickel



The area of my research interests is theoretical and computational fluid dynamics with an emphasis on turbulence phenomena in aerodynamics and flight propulsion as well as turbulence in fluids with complex thermodynamics. My primary tools for investigating physical problems are numerical modeling and simulation on supercomputers.

I have a strong background in turbulence modelling  and in the development of  highly accurate and computationally efficient numerical methods for Large Eddy Simulation (LES) and Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS).  Concerning fundamental flow phenomena, I am interested in the transition from laminar to turbulent flow, stratified turbulence and waves in the atmosphere, interactions of turbulence with shock waves in compressible flows at low and high Mach numbers, mixing and combustion in trans- and supercritical flows with strong real-gas effects, and the interaction of turbulence with phase change/cavitation in multiphase flows, for example.    

In view of the increasing popularity of LES in engineering, I am also developing numerical methods that allow for an efficient and largely automated simulation of complex flow geometries. Some examples are the modelling of wall boundary layer flows at high Reynolds numbers, methods for representing moving geometries on stationary Cartesian grids, dynamic grid adaptation, and fluid-structure interaction. Representative LES applications in current research projects include, for example, unsteadiness of shock- turbulence interaction in the inlet of a SCRamjet engine and the improvement of the mixing and combustion at supersonic speeds, a reactor for gas-dynamic generation of nano-particles, fluid-structure interaction in rocket nozzles, combustion of supercritical fluids in rocket thrust chambers,  delta-wing and slat-wing-flap high-lift configurations for aircrafts as well as  the prediction of cavitation in fuel injectors for automotive Diesel engines. 

The mentioned methods and applications cover a rather broad field; what they have in common is the intrinsic coupling of physical, mathematical and numerical modelling and my desire to investigate challenging contemporary problems. 


2022 - Treasurer of the  European Research Community On Flow Turbulence And Combustion and Deputy Chair of the  ERCOFTAC Scientific Programme Committee
2017 - 2021 Director of the   Graduate School of Aerospace Engineering  
2017 - 2019 Member of the   J.M. Burgerscentrum Board of Directors  
2017 - Head of the  Aerodynamics Section 
2016 - 2022 Chairman of the  ERCOFTAC Scientific Programme Committee  
2015 - Full Professor and Chair of Computational Aerodynamics, TU Delft 
2015 - Habilitation in Fluid Mechanics, TU München  
2013 - Senior Lecturer, TU München    
2008 - PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics, TU München     
2007 - Lecturer and Head of the   Large Eddy Simulation Group at TU München    
2005 - Research Associate, TU München 
2003 - Research Associate, TU Dresden 
2003 - Graduation in Mechanical Engineering, BTU Cottbus   
2002 - Engineering Intern in Combustor Aerodynamics, Rolls-Royce     
2002 - Engineering Intern in Measurement and Test Engineering, Porsche 

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