Lian Shen

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Lian Shen

Kenneth T. Whitby Professor, Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering
Room 315
111 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Director, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory


Sc.D. 2001, Fluid Mechanics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.S. 1993, Mechanical Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China

Professional Background

Kenneth T. Whitby Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2021-present
Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2017-present
Benjamin Mayhugh Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, 2012-2017
Assistant Professor and Assistant Research Professor, Civil Engineering and Center for Environmental and Applied Fluid Mechanics, Johns Hopkins University, 2004-2012

Scientific & Professional Societies

  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • American Physical Society, Division of Fluid Dynamics (APS DFD)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)


Lian Shen's research focuses on fluid mechanics in areas including turbulence, boundary layer, water wave, multiphase flow, and flow-structure interaction. His research group develops advanced numerical schemes, conducts high-performance computations and innovative data analyses, and seeks theoretical explanations of flow phenomena. Supported by a large number of federal and state agencies as well as industry, the research projects in Prof. Shen's group originate from a wide range of applications in mechanical engineering, environmental fluid mechanics, geophysical fluid dynamics, and renewable energy, with a common theme of elucidating the fundamental dynamics of fluid flows and developing accurate prediction models.  

Fluid Mechanics Lab

ME Research Areas
Fluid Mechanics

ME Impact Areas
Energy Transition
Environment & Sustainability

Research Interests

  • Computational fluid dynamics: DNS and LES of turbulent flows; simulation of free-surface flows; computation of nonlinear waves
  • Turbulent boundary layers at smooth and rough undulatory surface: Flow over wavy boundaries; wind-wave interaction; marine atmospheric boundary layer
  • Free-surface and multi-fluids flow: Free-surface turbulence; interfacial transport; wave-turbulence interaction; wave breaking
  • Sustainable energy: Ocean wave and wind as renewable energy resources; offshore wind farms; floating wind turbines; wave energy converters
  • Environmental fluid mechanics: Transport at water surface and effect of surfactants; air-water transfer of heat and greenhouse gases
  • Radiative transfer: Optics in water environment; hydrodynamic-optical effect on ecological-biogeochemical systems
  • Scientific computing and modeling: High-performance large-scale parallel computing; data-intensive computing; multi-physics modeling
Teaching Subjects
ME 3332: Fluid Mechanics
ME 5333: Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
ME 5344: Thermodynamics of Fluid Flow with Applications
ME 8332: Advanced Fluid Mechanics in Mechanical Engineering
ME 8342: Convection

Honors and Awards

  • ONR Young Investigator Award

Selected Publications

  • Xuan, A., Deng, B. & Shen, L., “Study of wave effect on vorticity in Langmuir turbulence using wave-phase-resolved LES,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, accepted.
  • Hao, X. & Shen, L., “Wind-wave coupling study using LES of wind and phased-resolved simulation of nonlinear waves,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, accepted
  • Foti, D., Yang, X., Shen, L. & Sotiropoulos, F. (2019), “Effect of wind turbine nacelle on turbine wake dynamics in large wind farms,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 869, pp.1-26.
  • Deng, B., Yang, Z., Xuan, A. & Shen, L. (2019), “Influence of Langmuir circulations on turbulence in the bottom boundary of shallow water,” Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 861, pp.275-308.
  • Xuan, A. & Shen, L. (2019), “A conservative scheme for simulation of free-surface turbulent and wave flows,” Journal of Computational Physics, Vol. 378, pp.18-43.

More Publications