- Name: Md Monir Hossain
- Number of lab members or colleagues (excluding PI): I am working with Wonders of Water (WOW) Lab at the University of Houston. Currently, we have four members in our team.
- Location: Texas, Houston
- Graduation Date: Ph.D., June 2020
- H index: 5
- Grants: Virginia Sea Grant, Chevron Corporation Scholarship, Dr. Wadaran L. Kennedy Scholars award.
- Twitter followers: 9
Hello! Who are you and what are you working on?
I am an engineer with a research background in computational fluid dynamics (CFD). My research centers on fluid dynamics in nature, with a focus on coral hydrodynamics. I use computational techniques to obtain a three-dimensional flow field inside the skeleton of real coral geometry. My subjects of investigation range from smaller-scale flow dynamics at the interior of a complex branched colony to large-scale hydrodynamics inside the coral reef. Recently, I have received my Ph.D. degree from the “Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics” at Virginia Tech. I have completed my Undergraduate and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and North Carolina A & T State University respectively. Currently, I am working on river transport modeling as a Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Houston.
From childhood, I had a strong curiosity about natural phenomena, which has led to my current research work. The objective of my research is to obtain the detailed hydrodynamics inside the coral colony and to understand the physiological processes inside the reef, which is under constant threat due to climate and anthropogenic pollution. In the future, my goal is to continue my research on environmental issues and to help the people of the coastal community.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
I was born and raised in a country where natural disasters are a frequent phenomenon and hundreds of thousands of people are affected by natural disasters each year. Now these frequently happening natural disasters have become a global phenomenon and affecting millions of people all over the world. Therefore, when I got the opportunity to research on the coral reef at Virginia Tech for my Ph.D. program, I was excited to find a way to achieve my personal and professional goals. For my Ph.D. dissertation, I worked in the “Laboratory for Fluid Dynamics in Nature (FINLAB)” under the supervision of Dr. Anne Staples in a project entitled “Computational Analysis of Internal Coral Hydrodynamics” from 2014 until the middle of 2020.
Coral reefs are the largest marine ecosystem and act as the first line of defense by reducing up to 97% of the incoming wave energy. Growing evidence indicates that artificial structures built for the protection of coastal areas affect marine lives and damage the socio-economic balance of the coastal economy. In contrast, a natural-based solution like coral reefs is becoming an important alternative due to its effective risk reduction mechanism. Though the flow field above the reef has been studied for decades, relatively little information is known regarding the flow dynamics inside the coral colony. In my research, I have used a leading-edge computational fluid dynamics tool to obtain the hydrodynamic condition inside the coral colony to understand the transport mechanism and physiological process required for their survival.
Please describe the process of learning, iterating, and creating the project
Obtaining the flow field inside the colony is not straightforward. Traditional measurement and visualization techniques were unable to depict the detailed flow profiles inside the colony due to the lack of acoustic and optical access at the interior due to the complex branching patterns of the coral colony. Earlier, researchers tried to use analytical methods to predict the flow condition inside the colony but these results differ significantly from the observed values. Numerical simulations can be an important tool to resolve the flow field inside the colony but capturing the complex geometry of real a coral colony is still a big challenge. In my research, I have used a special numerical technique (Immersed Boundary Method) to capture the hydrodynamic around Computed Tomography (CT) scan of a real coral skeleton. For CFD simulation, you need a high-quality mesh but generating body-conforming mesh around such complex geometry is difficult and expensive. Here, I have used the Cartesian grid instead of the body-conforming mesh to obtain the three-dimensional flow field and mass transport mechanism inside two different Pocillopora corals with different branching density.