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Dr Lian Gan

Associate Professor

Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering+44 (0) 191 33 42438
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing+44 (0) 191 33 42438


Lian obtained his BEng (UK MEng equivalent) degree from National University of Singapore, major in Mechanical Engineering (aeronautics), minor in Material Science and Engineering. This degree is supported by full-scholarship from Singapore government. He then obtained his PhD degree from University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering, fluid mechanics group on experimental (PIV) investigation of pulsatile turbulent flows. 

His research focuses on pulsatile and periodic flow dynamics, flow-structure interactions, and other inhomogeneous turbulent flows. The primary goal is to model and characterize the dynamics of coherent vortex structures in these flow problems using data generated from in-house developed non-invasive measurements (in particular, PIV related techniques, from 2D, Tomo to particle tracking) and CFD tools (in particular, LES). This will enhance our fundamental understanding of the physical processes governing the evolution of these flow structures, aiding in the optimization of scalar mixing and momentum delivery in various applications from optimal delivery of scalar substances using pulsatile jets to motion characterization of dynamic cables for floating offshore wind turbine platforms.  

In recent years, his research extends to the application of fluid dynamics in biomedical areas, collaborating with physicists and cardiologists. This includes the investigations of the role of pulsatile vortex dynamics in human cardiac flows using data collected through 4D Flow Magnetic Resonance scanning, and development of novel ventricular assist devices for congenital and pediatric patient groups. 

Dr Gan is also an active developer of laser-based experimental techniques for laboratory flow measurements. He contributed to developing the Cambridge University version of Tomographic Particle Image Velocimetry (TomoPIV, a volumetric non-invasive flow field measurement technique). He also developed other techniques including a stereo-scanning PIV to resolve volumetric turbulent flow fields at high spatial resolution and recently a novel technique to simultaneously resolve velocity field and the scalar interface applicable for liquid and gas phase inhomogeneous turbulent flows. Integrating to CFD tools, these PIV-based measurement led to variational data assimilation techniques.  

Lian is taking PhD students. The annual university studentship application usually opens in late October and closes in early January. 

Gan Lab - Pulsatile & Periodic Turbulent Flows

Research interests

  • Pulsatile and periodic flow dynamics, flow-structure interaction
  • Flow measurement technique development and applications
  • Experimental and computational fluid mechanics in engineering and biomedical applications


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Supervision students