Qi is interested in the fluid dynamics, heat transfer and hydrologic processes in the built environment. She develops and applies numerical models to study how the built environment impacts the land-atmosphere interactions at multiple temporal and spatial scales. Her approach includes both high-performance computing (large-eddy simulations and direct numerical simulations) and field experiment data to develop a physical understanding of the transport of momentum, energy and mass in the built environment. Examples of her current research topics are improving the representations of urban areas in regional weather models and dispersion modeling with improved urban micrometeorological component.

Large-eddy simulations over
surfaces of urban-like geometry

Research Image 1-1

Color scale showing the instantaneous streamwise velocity; solid blue objects are idealized representations of arrays of buildings

Research Image 2

Surfaces of the upper quartile of temperature field; color scale indicates the vertical velocity;

Research Image 1

Given a different orientation of the building arrays, the surface of upper quartile of temperature field tends to align over the ‘roofs’.

Direct numerical simulations
of a convective boundary layer

Research Image 4

A passive tracer of height-dependent concentration showing the large-scale coherent structures that mix the tracer across the vertical domain.

Research Image 5

A view cutting through middle of the horizontal plane.

Research Image 6

Another view angle. Movies were made using VAPOR.