Charles Meneveau

Louis M. Sardella Professor in Mechanical Engineering

Research Interests

Theoretical, experimental, and numerical studies in turbulence, Large-eddy-Simulation and turbulence modeling, fractals and scaling in complex systems, Applications of LES to environmental flows, wind energy and turbomachinery flows, Development of database techniques for turbulence research.

Charles Meneveau, the Louis M. Sardella Professor in Mechanical Engineering and the associate director of the Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES), focuses his research on understanding and modeling hydrodynamic turbulence, and on complexity in fluid mechanics in general. He combines computational, theoretical and experimental tools for his research, with an emphasis on the multiscale aspects of turbulence, using tools such as subgrid-scale modeling, downscaling techniques, and fractal geometry, and applications to Large Eddy Simulation (LES).

Among Meneveau’s seminal contributions are basic advances to turbulence modeling and large eddy simulations. The advances were made possible by elucidating the properties of the small-scale motions in turbulent flows and applying the new insights to the development of advanced subgrid-scale models, such as the Lagrangian dynamic model. This model has been implemented in various research and open source CFD codes (e.g. OpenFoam) and expanded the applicability of Large Eddy Simulations to complex-geometry flows of engineering and environmental interest, where prior models could not be used.

Among the application areas of Large Eddy Simulation being pursued in Meneveau’s group is the study of complex flows in large wind farms. Using the improved simulation tools as well as wind tunnel tests, Meneveau and his colleagues identified the important process of vertical entrainment of mean flow kinetic energy into an array of wind turbines. This research has clarified the mechanisms limiting wind plant performance at a time when there is enormous growth in wind farms. The research has led to new engineering models that will allow for better designed wind farms thus increasing their economic benefit and helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.

Meneveau has participated in efforts to democratize access to valuable “big data” in turbulence. As deputy director of JHU’s Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science, he led the team of computer scientists, applied mathematicians, astrophysicists, and fluid dynamicists that built the JHTDB (Johns Hopkins Turbulence Databases). This open numerical laboratory provides researchers from around the world with user-friendly access to large data sets arising from Direct Numerical Simulations of various types of turbulent flows. To date, hundreds of researchers worldwide have used the data, and flow data at approximately sixty trillion points have been sampled from the database. The system has demonstrated how “big data” resulting from large world-class numerical simulations can be shared with many researchers who lack the massive supercomputing resources needed to generate such data.

Meneveau also has performed groundbreaking research on understanding several multiscale aspects of turbulence. As part of his doctoral work at Yale, Meneveau and his advisor established the fractal and multifractal theory for turbulent flows and confirmed the theory using experiments. Interfaces in turbulence were shown to have a fractal dimension of nearly 7/3, where the 1/3 exponent above the value of two valid for smooth surfaces could be related to the classic Kolmogorov theory. And a universal multi-fractal spectrum was established, leading to a simple cascade model, which has since been applied to many other physical, biological and socio-economic systems. Later, as a postdoc at Stanford University’s Center for Turbulence Research, Meneveau pioneered the application of orthogonal wavelet analysis to turbulence, introducing the concept of wavelet spectrum and other scale-dependent statistical measures of variability.



  • 2016 - 2016:  Co-Chair, JHU Mechanical Engineering Head search committee
  • 2013 - 2013:  Visiting Professor, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy
  • 2013 - 2013:  Visiting Professor, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, France
  • 2013 - 2013:  Visiting Professor, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
  • 2012 - 2013:  Visiting Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2009 - Present:  Associate Director, Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES) Johns Hopkins University
  • 2009 - Present:  Deputy Director, Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES)
  • 2009 - 2012:  Adjunct Professor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., NY
  • 2004 - 2004:  Chair, 2004 Frenkiel Award Selection Committee, American Physical Society
  • 2003 - 2003:  Vice-Chair, 2003 Frenkiel Award Selection Committee, American Physical Society
  • 2002 - 2004:  Vice Chair, Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
  • 2001 - 2001:  Vice-Chair, 2001 Otto Laporte Award Committee, American Physical Society
  • 2001 - Present:  Professor / Secondary Appointment, WSE Environmental Health and Engineering
  • 1999 - 2000:  Visiting Professor, École Centrale de Paris, France
  • 1996 - Present:  Louis M. Sardella Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
  • 1994 - 1996:  Associate Professor, Unspecified
  • 1990 - 1994:  Assistant Professor, Unspecified
  • 1989 - 1990:  Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Turbulence Research, Stanford University / NASA Ames Research Center
  • 1989 - 1989:  Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University
  • 1986 - 1989:  Research Assistant, Yale University
Research Areas
  • Applications of LES to enviornmental flows
  • Development of database techniques for turbulence research
  • Fractals and scaling in complex systems
  • Large-eddy simulation and and turbulence modeling
  • Theoretical, experimental, and numerical studies in turbulence
  • Wind energy and turbomachinery flows
  • 2016:  Honorary Doctorate Award
  • 2012:  Stanley Corrsin Lecturer - Johns Hopkins University
  • 2012:  Fulbright Scholar - US-Australia Fulbright Scholarship
  • 2011:  Recipient of the Julian D. Cole Award - AIAA Fluid Dynamics Committee
  • 2011:  1st Recipient of the Stanley Corrsin Award from the American Physical Society
  • 2007:  Fellow - American Academy of Mechanics
  • 2005:  The article "Scale Invariance and Turbulence Models for LES" (Annual Rev. of Fluid Mech. 2000 - with J. Katz) is recognized by ISI Science Citation Index as a "Highly Cited Article" - placing it in the top 1% within its field (March 2005)
  • 2005:  Appointed to the Louis M. Sardella Professorship in Mechanical Engineering
  • 2005:  Elected foreign corresponding member of the Chilean Academy of Sciences
  • 2004:  Received the Outstanding Publication Award for 2004 from UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) - for co-authorship of the 2004 paper by Horst et al. in J. Atmospheric Science
  • 2003:  Recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2003:  Fellow - American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • 2001:  2001 Franois N. Frenkiel Award for Fluid Mechanics
  • 1999:  Honorary Member - Pi Tau Sigma
  • 1998:  Fellow - American Physical Society
  • 1989:  Henry Prentiss Becton Price for Excellence in Research - Yale University
  • 1985:  Premio Federico Santa Maria - UTFSM Valparaiso - Chile
  • Meneveau C (1992).  Wavelet analysis of turbulence: the mixed energy cascade.  Wavelets fractals and Fourier transforms: new developments and new applications (ed. M. Farge, JCR Hunt & JC Vassilicos). Oxford University Press.
Book Chapters
  • Meneveau C, Shapiro C, Gayme D (2016).  A simple dynamic wake model for time dependent wind turbine yaw (abstract only).  Bulletin of the American Physical Society, Div. of Fluid Dynamics.  61(20).  97.
  • Meneveau C, Marusic I (2016).  Turbulence in the era of big data: Recent experiences with sharing large datasets.  Whither Turbulence and Big Data in the 21st Century?.
  • Meneveau C, Marusic I (2016).  Turbulence in the Era of Big Data: Recent Experiences with Sharing Large Datasets.  Whither Turbulence and Big Data in the 21st Century?.  Springer International Publishing.  497-507.
  • Meneveau C, Sarlak H, Sørensen JN, Mikkelsen R (2015).  Quantifying the impact of subgrid scale models in actuator-line based LES of wind turbine wakes in laminar and turbulent inflow.  Direct and Large-Eddy Simulation IX.  Springer.  169-175.
  • Torres-Nieves S, Maldonado V, Lebrón J, Kang H, Meneveau C, Castillo L (2012).  Free-stream turbulence effects on the flow around an S809 wind turbine airfoil.  Progress in Turbulence and Wind Energy IV.  Springer Berlin Heidelberg.  275-279.
  • Meneveau C (2011).  A Web-Services Accessible Turbulence Database and Application to A-Priori Testing of a Matrix Exponential Subgrid Model.  Progress in Wall Turbulence: Understanding and Modeling.  Springer: Wallturb international workshop.  21-27.
  • Meyers J, Meneveau C (2011).  Effect of wind-turbine surface loading on power resources in LES of large wind farms.  Direct and Large-Eddy Simulation VIII.  425 ERCOFTAC Series 15.  425-430.
  • Meneveau C, Calaf M, Parlange M (2011).  Large Eddy Simulation study of a fully developed thermal wind-turbine array boundary layer.  Direct and Large-Eddy Simulation VIII.  425 ERCOFTAC Series 15.  15.  239-244.
  • Araya G, Castillo L, Meneveau C, Jansen K (2011).  A Multi-scale & Dynamic Method for Spatially Evolving Flows.  Progress in Wall Turbulence: Understanding and Modeling.  Springer Netherlands.  219-227.
  • Meneveau C, Riley JJ (2011).  Stanley Corrsin.  A Journey Through Turbulence.  Cambridge University Press.  238.
  • Graham J, Bai K, Meneveau C, Katz J (2011).  LES modeling and experimental measurement of boundary layer flow over multi-scale, fractal canopies.  Direct and Large-Eddy Simulation VIII.  425 ERCOFTAC Series 15.  15(ERCOFTAC Series).  233-238.
  • Torres-Nieves S, Lebrón JR, Kang HS, Brzek B, Cal RB, Meneveau C, Castillo L (2010).  Effect of Isotropic Free-stream Turbulence in Favorable Pressure Gradient Turbulent Boundary Layers over a Rough Surface.  IUTAM Symposium on The Physics of Wall-Bounded Turbulent Flows on Rough Walls.  Springer Netherlands.  113-119.
  • Chamecki M, Meneveau C, Parlange MB (2010).  Large Eddy Simulation of Pollen Dispersion in the Atmosphere.  Direct and Large-Eddy Simulation VII.  Springer Netherlands.  429-436.
  • Araya J, Cal R, Meneveau C, Castillo L (2009).  Beyond Reynolds stress analysis of quasilaminar flows.  Advances in Turbulence XII.  Springer Berlin Heidelberg.  951-951.
  • Torres-Nieves S, Brzek B, Lebrón J, Cal R, Kang H, Meneveau C, Castillo L (2009).  Isotropic Free-stream Turbulence Promotes Anisotropy in a Turbulent Boundary Layer.  Advances in Turbulence XII.  Springer Berlin Heidelberg.  581-584.
  • Chester S, Meneveau C (2008).  Renormalized Numerical Simulation of Flow over Planar and 3D Fractal Trees.  IUTAM Symposium on Computational Physics and New Perspectives in Turbulence.  Springer Netherlands.  235-242.
  • Brzek B, Torres-Nieves S, Lebrón-Bosques J, Cal RB, Meneveau C, Castillo L (2008).  Highly Turbulent Freestream Over Rough Surface Turbulent Boundary Layers.  46th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit.
  • Bou-Zeid E, Huwald H, Lemmin U, Selker JS, Meneveau C, Parlange MB (2007).  Atmospheric surface layer turbulence over water surfaces and sub-grid scale physics.  Advances in Turbulence XI.  Springer Berlin Heidelberg.  517-519.
  • Parlange MB, Bou-Zeid E, Huwald H, Chamecki M, Meneveau C (2007).  SNOHATS: Stratified atmospheric turbulence over snow surfaces.  Advances in Turbulence XI.  Springer Berlin Heidelberg.  520-522.
  • Chevillard L, Meneveau C (2007).  Lagrangian modeling and alignment trends of vorticity with pressure-Hessian eigendirections in turbulence.  Advances in Turbulence XI.  Springer Berlin Heidelberg.  112-114.
  • Chameckil M, Meneveau C, Parlange MB (2007).  Effects of local conditions on Smagorinsky and dynamic coefficients for LES of atmospheric turbulence.  Advances in Turbulence XI.  Springer Berlin Heidelberg.  694-696.
  • Meneveau C, Katz J (2007).  Measurements for Large-Eddy-Simulations.  Springer Handbook of Experimental Fluid Mechanics.  Springer Verlag.  830-855.
  • Meneveau C, Kumar V, Chester S, Parlange M (2007).  Progress in Large Eddy Simulation modeling of temporally and spatially complex land-atmosphere interactions.  Advances in Turbulence XI.  Springer Berlin Heidelberg.  665-672.
  • Meneveau C, Higgins C, Parlange M (2004).  Chapter 3: Energy dissipation in LES: dependence on flow structure and effects of eigenvector alignments.  Festschrift "Turbulence and convection. Scientific inspirations by Douglas K. Lilly.  Cambridge University Press.  51-69.
  • Meneveau C, Kang H, Charlette F, Averill J, Knio O, Veynante D (2002).  Challenges in Modeling Scalars in Turbulence and LES.  IUTAM Symposium on Turbulent Mixing and Combustion.  Springer Netherlands.  181-199.
  • Kang HS, Meneveau C (2001).  Experimental Measurements of Subgrid Passive Scalar Anisotropy and Universality.  Direct and Large-Eddy Simulation IV.  Springer Netherlands.  1-10.
  • Cerutti S, Meneveau C, O’Neil J, Parlange M, Porte-Agel F (1999).  Physics and modeling of small scale turbulence for large eddy simulation.  Fundamental Problematic Issues in Turbulence.  Birkhäuser Basel.  221-231.
  • Meneveau C, Prasad R, Ramshankar R, Sreenivasan K (1989).  The fractal geometry of interfaces and the multifractal distribution of dissipation in fully turbulent flows.  Fractals in Geophysics.  Birkhäuser Basel.  43-60.
Other Publications
  • Katz J, Meneveau C (2007).  Turbulence and Complex Flow Phenomena in Multi-Stage Axial Turbomachines.  DTIC Document.
  • Higgins C, Meneveau C, Parlange M (2004).  Energy dissipation in LES: dependence on flow structure and effects of eigenvector alignments.
  • Katz J, Meneveau C (2004).  Turbulence and Complex Flow Phenomena in Axial Turbomachines.  DTIC Document.
  • Katz J, Meneveau C (2001).  Instrumentation to Support PIV and HPIV Measurements in an Axial Turbomachine Flow Visualization Facility.  DTIC Document.
  • Suk KH, Meneveau C (2001).  Passive scalar anisotropy in a heated turbulent wake.
  • Adrian R, Meneveau C, Moser R, Riley J (2000).  Final Report on Turbulence Measurements for LES Workshop.  DTIC Document.
  • Meneveau C, Osborn T (1998).  Bio-Physical Coupling in Predator-Prey Interactions.  DTIC Document.
  • Katz J, Meneveau C (1998).  Instrumentation for 2D and 3D Holographic Particle Image Velocimetry in Axial Turbomachines.  JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV BALTIMORE MD DEPT OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING.
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