Andrew Bragg

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Andrew  Bragg Profile Photo
Andrew Bragg Profile Photo

Research Interests

Physics and modeling of turbulence and turbulent transport; theoretical and computational fluid dynamics; applied mathematics.


My intellectual interests and passions revolve around the desire to understand and predict the beautifully complex, enigmatic motion of turbulent flows, and their role in natural and engineered systems. The environment provides one of the richest settings motivating research on this topic, with far reaching implications for understanding atmospheric clouds, oceans, global warming, among many others. To address the profound complexity of turbulence I utilize methods from applied mathematics, statistical and theoretical physics, and high-performance computing. I also work closely with experimentalists, being convinced that a multifaceted, collaborative approach is required for significant progress on this very challenging subject.


Turbulent flows are inherently multiscale, and in environmental contexts they involve motion on spatial scales ranging from kilometers down to micrometers. Large-scale numerical simulations of environmental flows cannot resolve all of the scales, and so the unresolved scales must be parametrized. However, the nonlinear physics of the unresolved processes are often poorly understood, leading to great uncertainty in their parameterizations. This challenge is a key motivation for my own research, namely to understand the nonlinear physics of these small-scale processes and then to develop models that capture them for use in large-scale numerical models.


Before joining the Duke University faculty, Dr. Bragg was a postdoctoral associate in the Applied Mathematics and Plasma Physics Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral associate in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. Dr. Bragg obtained his PhD in Theoretical Fluid Dynamics from Newcastle University in England.


  • Ph.D. Newcastle University (United Kingdom), 2012


  • Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • National Science Foundation CAREER award. CBET Fluid Dynamics. 2021
  • EUROMECH Young Scientist Award, given at the 16th European Turbulence Conference at KTH in Stockholm. European Mechanics Society. 2017

Courses Taught

  • ME 634: Turbulence 1
  • CEE 701: Graduate Colloquium
  • CEE 690: Advanced Topics in Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 688: Turbulence 1
  • CEE 301L: Fluid Mechanics