Oliver Fringer
Oliver Fringer






IMUM 2017





Oliver B Fringer

Associate Professor
Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Stanford University

Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 2003
M.S. Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, 1996
B.S.E. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, 1995

Research overview

Transport and mixing of heat, salt, nutrients, pollutants, and organisms in surface waters play a fundamental role in critical natural and man-made problems that affect the health and sustainability of the planet, such as climate change and sea-level rise, ocean acidification, tsunamis, and oil spills. However, predicting transport and mixing in surface water flows is limited by our ability to accurately simulate fluid dynamical processes using numerical models. Global ocean simulations for climate change predictions, for example, are limited by an inability to simulate the mechanisms by which heat is transported and mixes at centimeter scales. Accurate representation of these small-scale processes in large-scale global circulation models depends on our ability to simulate multiscale problems, or problems that span many spatial and temporal scales. Although the accuracy of numerical models continues to improve with advances in computational power, substantial challenges remain in the development of accurate, multiscale models for surface water flows.
My research group focuses on the development and implementation of numerical modeling techniques to simulate multiscale fluid dynamical processes in the environment. While the ultimate goal is to develop accurate numerical modeling tools to simulate surface water flows and predict environmental impacts, the research is also driven by the need to understand basic physical processes. To address these needs, we work on computational and numerical analysis to develop numerical models. We use these models to study the fluid dynamics of surface water flows, focusing on problems spanning a wide range of space and time scales.

Where will high-resolution ocean modeling be in 2025?...

Honors and awards

  • 2011 Lorenz G. Straub Award for best dissertation by former Ph.D. student Bing Wang.
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), 2009.
  • Young Investigator Award, Office of Naval Research, 2008.
  • 2009 Lorenz G. Straub Award for best dissertation by former Ph.D. student Subhas Karan Venayagamoorthy.
  • Frederick A. Howes Scholar in Computational Science, Department of Energy, 2003.
  • South Africa Teaching Fellow, Department of African and African-American Studies, Stanford University, 2002-2003.

a short bio

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
The Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building
473 Via Ortega, Office 187
Stanford, CA 94305
Office: (650) 450-1137
Fax: (650) 725-9720
email: fringer at stanford.edu
Faculty web page  



Last updated: 03/07/17