Our research focuses on the numerical simulation of complex gas flows where the molecular nature of the gas must be explicitly accounted for. Such problems include gas-surface interactions and non-equilibrium flows found in both hypersonics and micro-flows.

Our group specializes in particle simulation methods such as direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) and molecular dynamics (MD). Research is split between algorithm development and physical model development for these numerical methods. Research is also focused on coupling these methods with each other and with continuum computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods; in order to efficiently simulate practical flows of engineering interest from a molecular perspective.

Such particle methods have the potential to incorporate increasingly realistic and accurate physical models, however require significant computational resources. Our research and algorithm development therefore stresses high-performance computing and we utilize the world-class computational facilities located here at the University of Minnesota and within the department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics (AEM) itself.

Current research includes hypersonic nonequilibrium reacting flows, high-temperature gas-surface interactions, hybrid particle-continuum methods, and micro-scale flows.

Research in Professor Schwartzentruber's group is currently funded by NASA, AFOSR, AFRL, and ONR.