Thomas C. Sykes

Thomas C. Sykes


I am a PhD student in fluid dynamics, with research interests in the droplet dynamics and complex fluids.

Research interests

My primary research interests lie in droplet dynamics, especially coalescence and interactions with a solid substrate (wetting, impact, etc.). I study these flows using both numerical simulations (usually with open-source tools such as OpenFOAM) and physical experiments (generally high speed imaging), working across various disciplines and departments. My work generally focuses on fundamental fluid dynamics, but has close ties to applications from microfluidics to next-generation additive manufacturing techniques (e.g. reactive inkjet printing). This work has been featured in media outlets such as Popular MechanicsFYFDScience AlertFOX NewsIFL SciencePhys.orgTech Explorist, etc.

I am also interested in complex fluids, such as colloidal suspensions. For example, I have worked on colloidal sedimentation under centrifugal force with Procter and Gamble (P&G), developing an improved mathematical model for these flows. I have previously worked on methods for linking anonymised data records and Monte Carlo Methods in statistical physics.

Please feel free to contact me about my work using the email address above.

Most Recent Oral Presentations

  • “Internal Flows in Impacting and Coalescing Droplets of Different Surface Tension”. 72nd Annual APS DFD Meeting, Seattle, WA, US (11/2019).
  • “Mixing with Impacting and Coalescing Droplets of Different Surface Tension”. Droplets 2019 Satellite Meeting, organised by Drops on Smart Surfaces SIG, Durham University, UK (09/2019).
  • “Coalescence of Droplets with Dissimilar Surface Tension”. UK Fluids Conference 2019, University of Cambridge, UK (08/2019).

Most Recent Poster Presentations

  • “Mixing within Impacting and Coalescing Droplets of Different Surface Tension”. UK Fluids Network Drop Dynamics SIG Meeting 5, Wadham College, University of Oxford, UK. (01/2020).
  • “Mixing within Impacting and Coalescing Droplets of Different Surface Tension”. Droplets 2019, Durham University, UK (09/2019). Best Poster Prize for Day 2.
  • “Mixing and Internal FLows in Coalescing Droplets”. Fundamental Fluid Dynamics Challenges in Inkjet Printing Workshop, Lorentz Center, Leiden, NL (07/2019).

Research Visits

  • Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, University of Oxford, UK (14 January - 08 February 2019). Visiting: Prof. Alfonso A. Castrejon-Pita.
  • Procter & Gamble (P&G) Brussels Innovation Center, Brussels, BE (15 - 18 May 2017). Visiting: Vincenzo Guida (stability team).

Student Education

I am a postgraduate module assistant in the Schools of Mathematics & Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds. I am also involved in OpenFOAM & Linux training on campus.


  • MSc in Fluid Dynamics (Distinction), University of Leeds, UK.
  • BSc Hons in Mathematics (Class 1), University of Leeds, UK.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Thermofluids