LIFD Early Career Researcher Spotlight: Danielle Bullamore

Our monthly spotlight on the work and lives of the researchers from the Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics

This month: Danielle Bullamore

Thesis title: Two-phase flow in the dynamic Earth: Implications of reactive-infiltration instabilities for melt flux and chemical differentiation.

School/ Faculty: CDT in Fluid Dynamics, School of Computing

Supervisors: Dr Sam Pegler, Prof Sandra Piazolo and Dr Oliver Harlen

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m a 3rd year researcher in the Fluids CDT here at Leeds. Before that, I did an undergraduate MEng in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge and chose to pursue a Fluids PhD after doing my master’s project in the area. I grew up in Leeds, so it was a no brainer to come back to do my PhD here when I found the CDT programme. Outside of work I’m usually found making bread, running rather slow 5ks, or scheming up new DIY projects with my dad!

What is your research about?

My research focuses on flow and pattern formation when a fluid moves through a porous medium. The work is geologically motivated by observations of mixed material rocks. These geological features, called migmatites (meaning ‘mixed rock’), can be interpreted as evidence of channelised flow in the Earth’s upper mantle. I’m interested in how channelised flow develops and what conditions lend themselves to channel formation.

More broadly, I’m interested in what happens when a fluid moving in a porous medium can both react with and deform that host medium. I work on developing simple models of two-phase fluid flows to understand how these processes interact.

What did you wish you knew before starting a PhD?

I wish that when I started my PhD, I’d been more organised about balancing PhD and non-research activities in my day. I started my PhD during the first lockdown, so I struggled at first to manage my time because there was little else to do. To an extent, it didn’t matter what times I started/stopped working but that meant my PhD overtook my whole day and became overwhelming. Getting back to normality, I’ve realised that having non-research plans in my day as well makes the hours I spend doing PhD work much more productive than before.

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve got another 18 months or so before finishing and writing up my PhD. After that I see myself going into industry long-term, but I might choose to do a postdoc at another university before that – it’s a while off so that could all change!