How Grad Student Chen Navigates the Whirlpool of Oil Transport

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative - August 20, 2015

Bicheng Chen 2015

Bicheng Chen (left) discusses his research with a colleague. A new technique that he is using to track oil plumes is visible on the monitor behind them. (Provided by Bicheng Chen)

Bicheng Chen is dedicated to seeking the physical explanations behind everyday phenomena. His research on ocean turbulence and numerical modeling led him to investigate the interactions among wind, waves, and turbulence and their effect on oil transport and dispersion.

Bicheng is a meteorology Ph.D. student at Pennsylvania State University and a GoMRI Scholarwith the project Large Eddy Simulation of Turbulent Dispersion of Oil in the Ocean Surface Layers: Development, Testing and Applications of Subgrid-Scale Parameterizations. He discussed his research and reflected on his academic journey.

His Path
Bicheng’s childhood dream of becoming a scientist began by watching spacecraft on television and grew after his first middle school physics class. He explained his fascination, “Physics is one of the only ways we can describe the phenomena we observe in our world.” Bicheng completed a physics undergraduate degree at Peking University and joined their atmospheric physics masters’ program, where he developed an interest in fluid mechanics and numerical modeling.

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