Luc Deike receives the François Frenkiel Award for innovative paper on bubbles and breaking waves

Tom Garlinghouse ・ for the High Meadows Environmental Institute

Luc Deike, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the High Meadows Environmental Institute, was recently awarded the François Frenkiel Award from the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics for a paper entitled “Capillary driven fragmentation of large gas bubbles in turbulence.”

The paper examines the role of bubble size distribution below a breaking wave, which is critical to understanding physical processes at the ocean-atmosphere interface such as the exchange of oxygen or carbon dioxide gases, as well as the emission of sea-spray aerosols by bubble bursting, which rise to the water surface and create aerosols that can be transported to the atmosphere and serve as cloud condensation nuclei. It was published in Physical Review Fluids in August 2022, and the awards ceremony, which honored Deike and his fellow collaborators, was held on November 19, 2023.

“I feel very honored to receive the Frenkiel award, joining a long tradition in fluid dynamics,” said Deike.  “The award recognizes a wonderful team effort, combining theory, experiments and numerical simulations to better understand small scale fluid mechanics, motivated by environmental challenges.”

The François Frenkiel Award is given annually to early-career researchers who have made significant contributions to the study of fluid mechanics and have also been published during the previous year in Physical Review Fluids. Deike’s paper was cited by the Division of Fluid Dynamics for developing “remarkable insights into the size distribution of fragmenting bubbles in turbulent flows and validating the theoretical predictions through experiments and direct numerical simulations.”

In addition to Deike, authorship included first author Aliénor Rivière, a former visiting graduate student at Princeton and now a Ph.D. student in France. Additional authors included Stéphane Perrard, an experimental physicist now at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique in Paris; Daniel Ruth, a former Princeton graduate student who completed his Ph.D. in 2022 in Deike’s group and is now a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich; and Wouter Mostert, who was a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton in Deike’s group while the research was conducted and is now an associate professor at Oxford.

Deike has been a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the High Meadows Environmental Institute at Princeton since 2017. He received his Ph.D. from Universite Paris Diderot, in France, and did postgraduate work at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. He is an expert in fundamental fluid dynamics with an emphasis on environmental applications. He is working on a variety of different phenomena, including turbulent multi-phase flows, bubbles and droplets fragmentation, the importance of small-scale waves on ocean remote sensing, gas transfer by surface breaking waves in the ocean, sea spray aerosol generation, aerosol process and nucleation in the atmosphere, particles dynamics in turbulence, and the importance of waves in offshore wind energy.

He is the recipient of several awards, including the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the Alfred Rheinstein faculty award from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Princeton University, the Milton Van Dyke Award from the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics, and the Graduate Mentoring Award from the Princeton University McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning and Graduate School.

Deike is also an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Princeton Materials Institute.