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      Scientific aspects


Spring School on Fluid Mechanics and Geophysics of Environmental Hazards
(19 April - 2 May 2009)


International Scientific Committee · Organizing Committee · Invited Speakers · Visitors and Participants · Overview · Posters · Sponsors · Activities · Venue · Student Registration · Student/Recent PhD Financial Application Form


 International Scientific Committee




  • Hassan Aref (Virginia Tech., USA)
  • Paul Linden (UCSD, USA)
  • K. Takeuchi (Tsukuba, Japan)
  • Gerd Tetzlaff (Universität Leipzig, Germany)


 Organizing Committee







 Invited Speakers


 Visitors and Participants





Environmental hazards, such as tsunamis triggered by earthquakes, tropical cyclones, monsoon flooding, volcanic eruptions and landslides, are all too familiar in Asia and the Pacific region, and have been the cause of catastrophic disasters. These hazards are a consequence of mechanical processes in the earth, ocean and atmosphere, and in order to understand them and hence to develop well-informed strategies for the mitigation of future disasters, it is necessary to develop sound scientific theory based on geophysical observations and data, the principles of fluid and solid mechanics, and an appropriate combination of mathematical and computational analysis.

This School is intended to focus on fluid mechanical aspects, and is aimed at students who have already graduated in mathematics, physics or engineering, and who wish to undertake research in this broad area. It is intended to bring students rapidly to current research frontiers in the fluid mechanics of environmental hazards. The School will start with introductory and motivational lectures on the fundamentals of geophysical fluid dynamics, and on geophysical hazard and risk in atmosphere and ocean contexts, and will then focus on four specific environmental hazards:

  1. typhoons and tropical cyclones;
  2. monsoons and flooding;
  3. tsunamis;
  4. pollution of atmosphere, ocean and the urban environment.

The School will include workshop activity in which groups of students will study key papers cited by the lecturers, and will be encouraged to identify and formulate new model problems that need to be solved in each of the above four areas. In this way, it is envisaged that the students will be fully involved in active and collaborative research activity.

The longer-term objective is to initiate a network of young scientists in countries of Asia and the Pacific Region who will be committed to work in this interdisciplinary area, and to launch a program of research addressing these problems.

Join the Facebook group 'Spring School on Fluid Mechanics and Geophysics of Environmental Hazards' to share your photos and keep in touch.




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The School is promoted jointly by two of the International Scientific Unions of ICSU (the International Council for Science): IUTAM (the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics) and IUGG (the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics). The School is supported also by ICSU’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Region, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and it contributes to two of ICSU’s priority areas: Natural and Human-Induced Environmental Hazards and Disasters and Building Scientific Capacity.





The following courses, each of two or three lectures, will be given:

Introductory and Motivational Tutorial Lectures:

Keith Moffatt (University of Cambridge, UK): Elements of Vortex Dynamics and Turbulence
Project report on Point vortex dynamics (PDF)

Tieh Yong Koh (Nanyang Technological University): Geophysical and Environmental Fluid Mechanics
Project report on Buoyant plumes (PDF)

Gerd Tetzlaff (Universität Leipzig, Germany): Extreme Rain and Wind Storms in Mid-Latitudes
Project report on Vapour-Condensation and Rainfall (PDF)

A. W. Jayawardena (International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management, Japan): Hydro-Meteorological and Environmental Disasters
Project report on River pollution (PDF)


Tutorials on Special Topics:


Kerry Emanuel (MIT, USA): Tropical Cyclones
Project report on Tropical cyclone dynamics (PDF)

Pavel Tkalich (National University of Singapore): Tsunamis
Project report on Numerical modelling of nonlinear waves in shallow water (PDF)

Swadhin Behera (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)): Dynamics of the Indian and Pacific Oceans
Project report on The Indian ocean dipole and ENSO (PDF)

Peter Haynes (DAMTP, Cambridge, UK): Transport of Pollutants in the Atmosphere
Project report on Long-range transport and air quality (PDF)

Emily Shuckburgh (British Antarctic Survey): Aspects of Climate Change
Project report on Climate modelling (PDF


  • Public Lectures


Title: The Scientific Basis of Climate Change
Date & Time: 23 Apr 2009, Thursday, 6.30pm - 7.30pm
Speaker: Emily Shuckburgh (British Antarctic Survey, UK)
: Lecture Theatre 33, Block S17, Level 2
            Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore
            Singapore 119260

Title: Rattleback Reversals: a Prototype of Chiral Dynamics
Date & Time: 28 Apr 2009, Tuesday,  6.30pm - 7.30pm
Speaker: Keith Moffatt (University of Cambridge, UK)
Venue: Lecture Theatre 33, Block S17, Level 2
            Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore
            Singapore 119260


Online registration: For attendance at these activities, please complete the online registration form.

The following do not need to register:

  • Those invited to participate.
  • Those applying for financial support.





 Student Registration


Student registration is now invited. Grants to cover travel and local subsistence costs will be awarded on a competitive basis. Applications from students resident in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as Singapore, are particularly encouraged. Limited places may be available for applicants from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, or further afield.

Application Form :  MSWord | PDF | PS

The deadline for registration and application for grants is 31 January 2009, and successful applicants will be informed by 16 February 2009. Some preliminary reading will be recommended for the two months preceding the school, so that students will be able to gain maximum advantage from the lecture courses.

For enquiries on scientific aspects of the Spring School, please email Khoo Boo Cheong at mpekbc(AT)


More information is available by writing to:
Institute for Mathematical Sciences
National University of Singapore
3 Prince George's Park
Singapore 118402
Republic of Singapore

or email to imssec(AT)



International Scientific Committee · Organizing Committee · Invited Speakers · Visitors and Participants · Overview · Posters · Sponsors · Activities · Venue · Student Registration · Student/Recent PhD Financial Application Form

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