Dr. Katharine Fraser

Kate is a senior lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Centre for Therapeutic Innovation. Her research interests are in cardiovascular engineering with specific interests in haemodynamics and artificial hearts. Accurate simulations of blood flow are vital to the design of blood contacting medical devices, including artificial hearts. Preliminary experimental data from Kate’s research group suggests that shear-thinning models of blood are insufficient for modelling secondary flows in rotating domains. So, for her IMI fellowship Kate will be working with Tristan Pryer and Jennifer Tweedy on modelling blood as a viscoelastic fluid. The challenge with this arises when the relaxation time of the fluid is large compared to the timescale of the flow: this is the high Weissenberg number problem. We hope that by incorporating a more realistic rheological model, haemodynamics predictions will be more accurate and so will allow for the design of better medical devices.