Environmental Flow Research Centre

Established in 1993 with funding from EPSRC, National Power, the Meteorological Office and the University of Surrey, our Centre, known as EnFlo, is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in atmospheric boundary layer flows and environmental aerodynamics.

Our main objectives

  • Provide world-leading wind-tunnel facilities in support of research in fluid flow and dispersion to both academy and industry.
  • Undertake research on flow and pollutant dispersion processes in the Earth's atmosphere, oceans, lakes and rivers.
  • Provide training and promote best practice in the use of laboratory modelling techniques in environmental fluid mechanics.

Research projects

Active projects

Start date: June 2021

End date: June 2024

Funding amount: £1.8 million

An investigation into the possible role of air pollution in declining insect populations

Investigations into pollutant dispersion and urban air quality

Low-carbon natural ventilation for buildings

The development of better wind power technologies

Completed projects

Start date: January 2014

End date: August 2017

Start date: 2009

End date: 2010

Start date: 2006

End date: 2014

Collaborative work

Health Protection Agency and the NHS

A series of projects for the HPA (now Public Health England) has been completed within the Micro- and NanoMaterials and Technologies EngD course. The first two covered health and related aspects of waste management and the third, odour, including an unusual example of long range odour transport (from Germany to the UK).

Other works were with Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital and treated the physics of short range dispersion from short, roof top stacks; the case study being emissions from the cyclotron facility at St Thomas’.


CONCAWE is based in Brussels and commissions environmental research on behalf of its members (mainly petrol-chemical industries). Projects at EnFlo have focussed on near-field dispersion at process plants and, in particular, the use of line integrated concentration measurements around a plant to estimate emission rates of hydrocarbons from leaks and similar sources.

The overall aim was to understand the uncertainties in the resulting estimates and to develop best practice for carrying out such work.


We have numerous wind tunnels here in the Centre including our Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) - National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) meteorological wind tunnel and EnFlo tunnel which is one of few in the world which allow experiments to be carried out in controlled conditions simulating the Earth's atmosphere.

Who we collaborate with

UK universities

  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Reading
  • University of Southampton

Institutions and organisations

  • CERC
  • CONCAWE (Brussels)
  • DGA (France)
  • ECL (France)
  • EU (Marie Curie)
  • FFI (Norway)
  • FOI (Sweden)
  • Golder Associates (UK)
  • INERIS (France)
  • Owlstone
  • Sandia National Labs (USA)
  • Selex-Galileo
  • Sellafield, HPA (PHE) and NHS
  • Shell Global Solutions

Meet the team

If you have any queries or would like to get involved with our research then please get in touch.

Key contacts

Placeholder image for staff profiles

Zilla Gardiner

Centre Administrator

Academic staff

David Birch profile image

Dr David Birch

Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering; Head of Centre for Aerodynamics & Environmental Flow

Matteo Carpentieri profile image

Dr Matteo Carpentieri

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Philip Hancock profile image

Dr Philip Hancock

Emeritus Reader in Fluid Mechanics

Marco Placidi profile image

Dr Marco Placidi

Senior Lecturer in Experimental Fluid Mechanics

Technical staff

Paul Hayden profile image

Dr Paul Hayden

Research Fellow

Graham Webb profile image

Dr Graham Webb

Experimental Officer

Placeholder image for staff profiles

Allan Wells

Mechanical Systems Technician

Contact us

Find us


Centre for Aerodynamics and Environmental Flow
University of Surrey