Clarkson University Professor Receives Nearly $400k NSF Grant For Computational Studies of Solar Convection

February 20, 2023

Chunlei Liang, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Clarkson University, has been awarded $399,374 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his project titled, “SHINE: Faster Boundary-Conforming Simulations of Solar Convection on Unstructured Grids.”

headshot, Chunlei Liang
Chunlei Liang

The sun’s convection zone is the birthplace of space weather. In order to make faster and more accurate predictions of turbulent convection in the sun, this proposed project resorts to high-order numerical methods with unstructured meshes on parallel computers. This project will advance the Compressible High-Order Unstructured Spectral difference (CHORUS) code for simulating thermal convection and related fluid dynamics in the solar interior.

“This proposed project is to further improve the numerical methods with p-refinements and local time stepping for accelerating the CHORUS code and then to probe thermal plume merging events in the sun. I will involve graduate students, undergraduate students, and high-school students and train them to become computational engineers and scientists through this project,” Dr. Liang said.

Liang plans to collaborate with the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s (NCAR’s) High Altitude Observatory for broader dissemination of the CHORUS code.

To learn more about Dr. Liang’s research for studying the Sun’s convection zone, go to

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