Olga Shishkina receives EUROMECH-Fellowship

January 18, 2022

The European Mechanics Society has elected Dr. Olga Shishkina, group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS), as a EUROMECH fellow in the field of fluid mechanics recognizing her seminal contributions in this field. Only three laureates from this field are selected across Europe every other year. The council selected Olga for her profound work on Rayleigh-Bénard convection, which is of fundamental importance in numerous fields, including oceanography, astrophysics and climate research.

Convection is a widespread phenomenon in nature: Due to a difference in temperature or density, a self-organizing flow is generated, driving the dynamic system. Prominent examples are the currents in the ocean, the motion within the Earth’s mantle, or the emergence of clouds in the atmosphere.

Important contributions to the understanding of convection

In fluid mechanics, Rayleigh-Bénard convection describes the process of liquid rising from a heated surface and sinking from the cold surface due to changes in density of the fluid with temperature. In her work, Dr. Olga Shishkina significantly contributed to the models for Rayleigh-Bénard convection as well as the structure and function of boundary layers, as also recognized by Prof. Detlef Lohse, head of the Fluid Physics group at the University of Twente, Netherlands and well-known expert in the field:

"Olga Shishkina has seminal contributions to our understanding of thermally driven turbulent convection, which is of utmost importance in geophysics, astrophysics, and in the process industry, but also in daily life such as to optimize heating and ventilation”, he says. “Her research is at the interface of mathematics, physics, geophysics, mechanical engineering and computer science, and it is right at these interfaces between different disciplines where interesting and important developments occur. In particular, I admire her ingenious combination of strict mathematical analysis, deep theory, and very careful numerical simulations. This high honor of becoming a Fellow of EUROMECH is truly deserved."

Continuation of a long-standing research tradition in fluid physics

Olga graduated at the Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia and since 2014 is a member of the MPIDS. Currently she is heading the research group “Theory of Turbulent Convection” in the department of Eberhard Bodenschatz. The EUROMECH committee selects three laureates every other year who need to be nominated externally based on very strict selection criteria. With the award, the society honors remarkable scientific or innovative contributions in the field of both fluid and solid mechanics.

“Olga is an accomplished theoretical physicist and this is a well-deserved recognition of her outstanding achievements”, comments Prof. Ramin Golestanian, managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization. “Her work builds on the century-long tradition of theoretical research in fluid physics at MPIDS.”

Also, Olga Shishkina herself is very happy about receiving the award: “This is of course a high honor and appreciation of our work with my great young and senior colleagues and collaborators.”, she says and continues: “ Our Max-Planck Institute has always been one of the world leaders in theoretical and experimental studies of turbulence, in particular, in convection, and I hope that it will be so in the future, with appropriate support of this research.”

The Fellowship will be formally awarded during the 14th European Fluid Mechanics Conference held in Athens, 13-16 September 2022. 

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