Eric W. Hester

Eric W. Hester

Postgraduate Teaching Fellow, PhD Student

The University of Sydney


I’m a Postgraduate Teaching Fellow and PhD student of Applied Mathematics at the University of Sydney. My research interests are varied but all relate to better understanding fluid-solid interactions and fluid-dynamics more broadly. I’ve done experimental investigations of iceberg melting rates, computational investigations on the extraordinary drag of the dead-water effect, and mathematical analysis on improving the volume-penalty method and phase-field models of melting and dissolution. A big reason I’ve been able to work on so many projects is because of the incredibly flexible and efficient Dedalus computational framework developed by my supervisor Geoff Vasil and his collaborators Keaton Burns, Daniel Lecoanet, Jeff Oishi, and Ben Brown. I also enjoy teaching and presenting my work around the world.


  • The Dedalus PDE solver framework
  • Fluid-solid interaction
  • The dead-water effect
  • Tears of wine
  • Mathematical computing


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Mathematics, 2017-Present

    The University of Sydney

  • Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours), 2016

    The University of Sydney

  • Bachelor of Science (Advanced), 2013-2015

    The University of Sydney


Iceberg Melting

How does iceberg shape affect melting?

Tears of Wine

Coming soon!

Phase Field Models

Simple-to-simulate models of phase change

Volume Penalty Method

The simplest way to put objects in CFD solvers.

Signed Distance Coordinates

The elegant — and useful — differential geometry of the signed-distance function.

Dead Water

The huge drag of small density differences


Topography generation by melting and freezing in a turbulent shear flow

In order to improve our understanding of ice melting in oceans, here we report an idealized numerical study of phase changes between a …

Aspect ratio affects iceberg melting

Iceberg meltwater is a critical freshwater flux from the cryosphere to the oceans. Global climate simulations therefore require simple …

Improving accuracy of volume penalised fluid-solid interactions

We derive higher-order accurate volume-penalty models with no added implementation cost, and verify their accuracy in several benchmark problems in Dedalus.

Improved phase-field models of melting and dissolution in multi-component flows

We develop and analyse the first second-order phase-field model to combine melting and dissolution in multi-component flows. This …

Bistability in Rayleigh-Bénard convection with a melting boundary

A pure and incompressible material is confined between two plates such that it is heated from below and cooled from above. When its …

Recent Posts

Aspect Ratio Affects Iceberg Melting

Our paper on the influence of shape on iceberg melting is an Editor’s Suggestion at Physical Review Fluids

Invited Student Feature

I was invited to contribute a student feature to the Dynamical Systems Web, where you can see a nice summary of the different projects I’ve been working (with plenty of nice videos).


The most useful tools I’ve found in my time as a researcher.


A list of books that I’ve read and found useful, interesting, or inspiring.

The simple way to start a website

So I’ve always wanted to start a website. Something to act as a central repository for all the interesting stuff I find and create. As an academic-in-training, we’re taught to measure our work through papers, a format that hasn’t changed in centuries.