Prof. Heng Xiao, former Associate Professor at Virginia Tech, just joined the Cluster of Excellence as a professor for Data-Driven Simulation of Fluids on High-Performance Computers - a joint professorship of SimTech and Faculty 6, Aerospace Engineering and Geodesy, of the University of Stuttgart.
Born 1981 in China, Prof. Heng Xiao studied Civil Engineering at Zhejiang University in China and then completed his master’s degree in Mathematics at the Royal Institute for Technology (KTH) in Sweden in 2005. He then received his PhD in Civil Engineering from Princeton University in 2009. After a three-year stay as a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich at the Institute of Fluid Dynamics, he took up a position as an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2013. He was promoted to tenured associate professor in 2020 and led an active research group with focus on physics-informed and data-driven methods.
Prof. Xiao’s main research area is data-driven turbulence modelling and uncertainty quantification in the turbulence models. His approach focuses mainly on the modeling of the Reynolds stress tensor in the framework of the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations. Here, Prof. Xiao is one of the leading experts, evidenced by his widely cited review article "Turbulence modeling in the age of data" in the Annual Reviews of Fluid Mechanics.
Another focus of his work in machine learning is the construction of physics-informed neural networks, e. g. by considering Galilean invariance or other invariance properties in the models. His publications have appeared in journals of fluid mechanics (e.g. Physical Review Fluids, Flow, Turbulence and Combustion, International Journal of Multiphase Flow), but also e.g. in the Journal of Computational Physics. Prof. Xiao’s papers are highly cited with almost 1500 citations only in 2022 and he has received a number of excellence prizes and grants.
“Prof. Xiao has an outstanding academic record in fields of great relevance for our Cluster of Excellence. His publication list shows many innovative contributions and collaborations with internationally renowned researchers. He already had a position as a tenured professor in the United States, when he decided to accept the offer by the University of Stuttgart for this newly established SimTech professorship. We are looking forward to collaborating closely with Heng Xiao whose research is right at the interface of data-driven methods for fluid simulation and highly relevant engineering applications. He will be a great asset for the Cluster’s scientific future”, states Thomas Ertl, the spokesperson of EXC 2075.
Stefanos Fasoulas, dean of the Faculty for Aerospace Engineering and Geodesy adds: “We are also very pleased to welcome Prof. Heng Xiao as a new member of our faculty. With his expertise, he will certainly enrich the range of courses at our faculty. In addition, his activities and achievements in basic research are very valuable, especially for applications in aerospace technology, and thus open up a large number of cooperation opportunities within our faculty and university.”