School of Engineering (Okanagan campus)
Joshua Brinkerhoff's research aims to improve our understanding of how moving fluids transition from an orderly state into a disordered, turbulent state. Because of our present lack of knowledge of this process, it is very difficult for engineers to understand, for instance, how pollutants will disperse in the air following a pipeline rupture, how particles may deposit in our lungs and cause disease, or how to reduce the CO2 emissions coming from our cars.
Joshua's research uses sophisticated computer simulations to investigate fluid flows occurring in environmental and biological applications, and in the equipment used for processing natural gas. The simulations help us to understand the complex behaviour of these flows, including how solid or liquid particles mix in gases, how gas line ruptures will disperse in the atmosphere, and how to improve the machinery used in natural-gas vehicles. He is also interested in understanding how disease alters the flow of air in the lungs. The long term goal is to advance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the equipment used in the natural gas industry, while safeguarding health and the environment.
This research is important considering that an estimated 100,000 jobs can be created in BC alone through the development of its natural gas resources, and transitioning from gas or diesel to natural gas has the potential to decrease Canada’s CO2 and pollutant emissions.
Prior to UBC:
Prior to coming to UBC, Joshua completed his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON, where he also completed his B.Eng. in aerospace engineering, specializing in aerodynamics, propulsion, and vehicle performance.
Joshua's research has resulted in publications in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Physics of Fluids, and ASME Journal of Turbomachinery. While at Carleton, he received the prestigious J.Y. Wong Graduate Research award during his dissertation year. Joshua is currently on the Board of Directors of the Computational Fluid Dynamics Society of Canada and a co-investigator in a $1.13 million research scholarship program funded by the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship to conduct interdisciplinary research in sustainable transportation with partners in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
In his free time, Joshua enjoys singing (both in a choir and as a soloist) and cycling (or sometimes both at once) and reading to his three daughters and baby son.