Thomas C. Sykes

Thomas C. Sykes

Postdoc in Fluid Dynamics

University of Oxford

I am a Royal Society funded postdoctoral research assistant in fluid dynamics at the Department of Engineering Science of the University of Oxford, working with Alfonso A. Castrejón-Pita in the Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. I am concurrently involved in undergraduate teaching as an external tutor at Wadham College, Oxford.

My research interests lie in fluid dynamics, especially of droplets (coalescence, splashing, mixing, breakup, collisions), interfaces and complex fluids (colloids, molecules, surfactants). I adopt a highly-interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to my research, utilising a range of techniques including numerical simulations, laboratory (high-speed imaging) experiments and mathematical modelling, usually in combination. Specific application areas of interest include microfluidics, inkjet and biomaterial printing, additive manufacture, aerosols (especially generation), infectious disease transmission (airborne and droplet), molecular communication and environmentally-friendly crop sprays.

Following an undergraduate Mathematics degree (BSc, Leeds, 2016), I completed my integrated PhD and MSc in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training/ Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics (LIFD) at the University of Leeds in 2020. Alongside a team of supervisors led by Mark C.T. Wilson, I developed high-speed imaging experiments and OpenFOAM numerical simulations to study droplet mixing on substrates during my PhD, for droplets of both identical and different fluid properties.

I have published my work as articles in several leading peer-reviewed journals (see my publications), which have attached the attention of international popular and scientific media outlets (e.g. Popular Mechanics, FY Fluid Dynamics,

Please feel free to contact me about any aspect of my work.


  • Fluid dynamics.
  • Droplets (coalescence, splashing, mixing, breakup, collisions, etc.).
  • Interfaces.
  • Complex fluids (colloids, molecules, surfactants, etc.).


  • PhD & MSc in Fluid Dynamics, 2020

    University of Leeds (EPSRC CDT in Fluid Dynamics)

  • BSc in Mathematics, 2016

    University of Leeds (School of Mathematics)

Recent Publications

Electrophoretic molecular communication with time-varying electric fields

This article investigates a novel electrophoretic molecular communication mechanism that utilizes a time-varying electric field, which …

Internal dynamics of coalescing droplets

Internal flows determine the extent of advective mixing (stretching and folding of fluid interfaces) between coalescing droplets, …

Recent and Upcoming Talks

Internal flows during droplet coalescence

Invited talk: QMUL Colloid & Interface Webinar

OpenFOAM for free surface flows

Invited talk: Onno Bokhove’s Research Group Meeting

Substrate wettability affects mixing during droplet coalescence

73rd Annual APS DFD Meeting

Recent and Upcoming Posters

Mixing within impacting and coalescing droplets of different surface tension

UKFN Drop Dynamics SIG Meeting: January 2020

Mixing within impacting and coalescing droplets of different surface tension

Droplets 2019 (Best Poster Prize for Day 2)

Mixing and internal flows in coalescing droplets

Fundamental Fluid Dynamics Challenges in Inkjet Printing Workshop