Dr John Edward Cater


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Deputy Head of Department


John developed an interest in aerospace and aircraft from a childhood collection of Lego. He studied for his first degree in Mechanical Engineering at Auckland, before leaving Aotearoa and starting a PhD at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. John then moved to Europe to continue work in aerospace research programmes creating future aircraft technologies for Airbus and investigating aircraft noise reduction. He spent six years in Ireland and the UK, working as a research fellow at Trinity College Dublin & Trinity College Cambridge before becoming a permanent academic at Queen Mary, University of London in the East End of London.

In 2008 John returned to The University of Auckland and joined Department of Engineering Science as a Senior Lecturer in Fluid Dynamics. He currently researches a variety of fluid flows including aerodynamics and biological fluids using laser measurement techniques and computational models.

Research | Current

Research Interests

  • Aeroacoustics of turbulent jets.
  • Development and use of Laser Doppler Velocimetry, Hot-Wire Anemometry and pressure measurement techniques in turbulent internal and external flows.
  • Development of optical measurement techniques including Particle Image Velocimetry and Planar Laser-Induced Fluorescence.
  • Direct Numerical Simulation of swirling flows and jets.
  • Investigating the use of parallel computation for fluid mechanics.
  • Analytical studies of fundamental flows using vortex skeletons.
  • Synthetic jets and flow control
  • Linear/non-linear signal processing.
  • Medical flow imaging and measurement.


Supporting research in Fluid Flow & Thermodynamics

For contract research, please contact UniServices. Research is usually charged from $200 per hour + costs.

  • Doctoral projects (PhD) are suitable for longer projects, they cost approximately $25k per year for three years during which a doctoral candidate will spend about 6,000 hours on a focussed research project.
  • Master of Engineering (ME) projects require approximately $16k for a research project lasting from Mar-Sep and comprise approximately 1200 hours of research.
  • Final year Projects (Mar-Sep) or Summer Internship Projects (Dec-Mar) cost approximately $6,250 and require a student to spend 400 hours on research.

For more details or to discuss your research needs in fluid flows and thermodynamics modelling, please email me directly: j.cater@auckland.ac.nz

Teaching | Current





Postgraduate supervision

Current Students:

  • Sibylle van Hove, "Clearance of CO2 during Apnoeic Oxygenation with Nasal High Flow"
  • Susann Beier, "The hemodynamics of normal, pathological and stented coronary arteries accessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD)"
  • Sahan Wasala, "Quiet wind turbine blades"
  • Tharanga Don, "Mechanical Modelling of Lymphatic Drainage from the Interstitial Space"
  • Stefano Nava, "Large Eddy Simulation of Yacht Sails"
  • Pavel Summetc, "Modelling the Endothelial Glycocalyx Layer"
  • Adam Tunney, "Stability of Hypersonic Boundary Layers"
  • Stephen Waite, "Modeling the structure and motility of the sheep rumen"
  • John Storey, "Apnoeic Oxygenation of Neonates"
  • Monika Baumann, "Humidified Carbon Dioxide in Open Surgery"

Past Students:

  • Dr. Rupert Storey, "Large Eddy Simulation of Actively Controlled Wind Turbine Arrays"
  • Dr. Xiaobo Lu, "Mathematical Modelling of the Human Vocal Tract"
  • Dr. Arsalan Ahmad, "Experimental Aeroacoustics study on jet noise reduction using tangential air injection"
  • Dr. Chetan Jagadeesh, "Dynamics of Vortex Shedding from Slender Cones"
  • Dr. Zhenyu Zhang, "Closed-loop flow control for boundary layer instabilities"
  • Dr. Alexis Demosthenous, "Soot formation and oxidation in a high-pressure spray flame"
  • Timmy Xu (ME), "Numerical Simulation of Flow past a Marine Riser"
  • Vinit Dinghe (ME), "Modelling Smart Wind Turbine Blades"
  • Patrick Kenny (ME), "Methodology for Optimal Placement of Flow Control Actuators"
  • Daniel Martens (ME), "Rating the Impact Sound Insulation of Flooring from its Airborne Sound Reduction Index"

Graduate Studies in Fluid Dynamics

We are looking for creative and enthusiastic PhD, masters and project (foreign exchange/4th-year project) students for research projects in fluid mechanics. If you are interested please contact me directly along with a CV. Financial assistance may be available for successful applicants at postgraduate levels.

If you are interested in doctoral studies, please follow the following link to complete an expression of interest: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/for/future-postgraduates/how-to-apply-pg/apply-for-a-doctorate.html

Projects are available in the following areas:

  • Computational modelling & simulation of unsteady fluid flows
  • Laser techniques & image processing
  • Aerodynamics & flow control
  • Acoustics & aeroacoustics

Chinese PhD students

Chinese students interested in graduate study towards a PhD should look at the following link: www.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/is-chinese-scholarship-council-scholarships

Generous funding is available from the China Scholarship Council to support a student studying in Engineering at Auckland.

Graduate students from Pakistan

The Pakistan Higher Education Commission funds students to come to Auckland for graduate degrees, take a look at the following link for more information: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/for/international-students/is-study-options/future-phd-students/scholarships.html

Scholarships for international postgraduates

The University of Auckland has a number of scholarships available for post-graduate study, to find out closing dates and what you might be eligible to apply for, visit the following: www.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/home/for/current-students/cs-scholarships-and-awards/cs-search-for-scholarships-and-awards


  • 2007 Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
  • 2006 E-Learning Fellowship Scheme Award, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
  • 2004 David Crighton Memorial Awardee, Dept. Applied Mathematics and Physics, Cambridge University, UK


Course adviser for Engineering Science

Areas of expertise

  • Aeroacoustics
  • Aerodynamics
  • Biomedical Flows
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Flow Measurement
  • Respiratory Mechanics
  • Wind Energy

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Professional memberships

    Member of the European Mechanics Society, since 2003.
  • FHEA
    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, since 2007.
    Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, member since 2004.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Nava, S., Cater, J. E., & Norris, S. E. (2018). Large Eddy Simulation of an asymmetric spinnaker. OCEAN ENGINEERING, 169, 99-109. 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2018.08.060
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stuart Norris
  • Baumann, M., & Cater, J. E. (2018). The Effect of Heated CO2 Insufflation in Minimising Surgical Wound Contamination During Open Surgery. Annals of biomedical engineering, 46 (8), 1101-1111. 10.1007/s10439-018-2034-6
  • Sumets, P. P., Cater, J. E., Long, D. S., & Clarke, R. J. (2018). Electro-poroelastohydrodynamics of the endothelial glycocalyx layer. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 838, 284-319. 10.1017/jfm.2017.896
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Richard Clarke
  • Wang, H., Cater, J., Liu, H., Ding, X., & Huang, W. (2018). A lattice Boltzmann model for solute transport in open channel flow. Journal of Hydrology, 556, 419-426. 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.11.034
  • Kokhanenko, P., Papotti, G., Cater, J. E., Lynch, A. C., van der Linden, J. A., & Spence, C. J. T. (2017). Carbon dioxide insufflation deflects airborne particles from an open surgical wound model. Journal of Hospital Infection, 95 (1), 112-117. 10.1016/j.jhin.2016.11.006
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/32282
  • Xu, T., & Cater, J. E. (2017). Numerical simulation of flow past a curved cylinder in uniform and logarithmic flow. Ships and Offshore Structures, 12 (3), 323-329. 10.1080/17445302.2016.1139259
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31780
  • Nejati, A., Kabaliuk, N., Jermy, M. C., & Cater, J. E. (2016). A deformable template method for describing and averaging the anatomical variation of the human nasal cavity. BMC Medical Imaging, 16 (1).10.1186/s12880-016-0154-8
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31281
  • Beier, S., Ormiston, J. A., Webster, M. W., Cater, J. E., Norris, S. E., Medrano-Gracia, P., ... Cowan, B. R. (2016). Dynamically scaled phantom phase contrast MRI compared to true-scale computational modeling of coronary artery flow. Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 44 (4), 983-992. 10.1002/jmri.25240
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30966
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stuart Norris, Susann Beier, Alistair Young, Pau Medrano-Gracia


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 341
New Zealand

Web links