Wind Engineering

I have worked in the field of wind engineering and bluff body aerodynamics throughout my career, largely concerned with the intermediate wind speed range between the low wind speeds of relevance to ventilation and wind energy studies, and the high wind speed range of most relevance to structural design. Thus the main thrust of my work has been in the fields of sustainability and resilience – how to make structures and infrastructure and agricultural systems safe, reliable and fit for purpose. This page contains links to blog posts and presentations in this area.  In addition links to recent papers and student PhD theses are also given.

International Wind Engineering Seminars

A series of International Wind Engineering Seminars, sponsored by the IAWE, are being held between October 2020 and March 2021, via Zoom. Full details can be found here.

Wind Engineering blog posts

Recent blog posts in this category include

Wind Engineering papers

The links given below are to the publishers’ web sites, where the abstract can be read and the publication downloaded with the necessary permissions. Alternatively the final pre-publication of many (but not all) of these can be found the Birmingham Electronic Paper Repository here. Note also that many of the papers on the Train Aerodynamics and Transport pages also have a high Wind Engineering content.

A.D. Quinn, C.J. Baker, 2010, Spatial and temporal correlations of wind speeds, Proceedings of the institution of Civil Engineers. Structures and Buildings 163, 65-72

C.J. Baker, 2010, The calculation of cricket ball trajectories, Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science, Proceedings of the IMechE C, 224, 1947-1958, Awarded SAGE prize in 2011 for best paper in Journal in 2010

P. Martinez-Vazquez, C.J. Baker, M. Sterling, A.D. Quinn, P.J. Richards, 2010, Aerodynamic forces on fixed and rotating plates, Wind and Structures, 13, 2 127-144

P. Martinez-Vazquez.M. Sterling, C. J. Baker, A. D. Quinn, P.J. Richards 2011, Autorotation of Square Plates, with Application to Windborne Debris, Wind and Structures, An International Journal 14, 2

S Blenkinsop, Y Zhao, J Quinn, F Berryman, J Thornes, C Baker, H J Fowler, 2012, Downscaling future wind hazard for SE London using the UKCP09 regional climate model ensemble, 53, 141–156

C J Baker, 2013, A unified framework for the prediction of cricket ball trajectories in spin and swing bowling, IMechE Proceedings P – Journal of Sports Engineering, 227, 1 31 – 38

C J Baker, M Sterling, P Berry, 2014, A generalised model of crop lodging, Journal of Theoretical Biology 363, 1–12

C J Baker,2015, Risk analysis of pedestrian and vehicle safety in windy environments, Journal  of  Wind Engineering  and  Industrial Aerodynamics, 147, 283–290

C J Baker, M Sterling, 2017, Modelling wind fields and debris flight in tornadoes, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 168, 312-321 

C Baker, M Sterling, 2018, A conceptual model for wind and debris impact loading of structures due to tornadoes, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics. 175, 283-291

C Baker, M Sterling, 2019,  Are Tornado Vortex Generators fit for purpose? Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 190, 287-292

M. Mohammadi, J. M. Finnan, C. J. Baker and M. Sterling, 2020, The potential impact of climate change on oat lodging in the UK and Republic of Ireland, Advances in Meteorology,  4138469, 16 pp

G. M. D. Joseph, M. Mohammadi, M. Sterling, C. Baker, S. G. Gillmeier, D. Soper, M. Jesson, G. A. Blackburn, J. D. Whyatt, D. Gullick, J. Murray, P. Berry, D. Hartley, J. Finnan (2020) Determination of crop dynamic and aerodynamic parameters for lodging prediction, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 202,104169

C Baker, M Sterling, M Jesson (2020) The lodging of crops by tornadoes, Journal of Theoretical Biology 500, 110309

G. Vita, Z. Shu, M. Jesson, A. Quinn, H. Hemida, M. Sterling , C. Baker (2020) On the assessment of pedestrian distress in urban winds, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 203, 104200

M Mohammadi, J Finnan, M Sterling, C Baker (2020) A calibrated oat lodging model compared with agronomic measurements, Field Crops Research 255, 107784

Bourriez F, Sterling M, Baker C (2020) Windborne debris trajectories in tornado-like flow field initiated from a low-rise building, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 206, 104358

C. Paz, E. Suárez, C. Gil, C. Baker (2020)  CFD analysis of the aerodynamic effects on the stability of the flight of a quadcopter UAV in the proximity of walls and ground, Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 206, 104378

Wind Engineering theses

Note that ma number of the theses on the Train Aerodynamics and Transport pages also have a high Wind Engineering contents

S. Jordan (2004) An investigation of the slipstreams and wakes of trains and the associated effects on trackside people and objects, University of Birmingham

A. McConville (2008) The physical simulation of thunderstorm downbursts, University of Birmingham

F Bourriez (2020) Tornadoes and wind borne debris; An experimental and numerical approach, University of Birmingham

Wind Engineering presentations


This presentation looks at the oldest world sporting record – that for throwing the cricket ball that dates back to 1882. It was originally produced for a conference of academic aerodynamicists that didn’t take place and contains both historical and technical material. A written version is given in the blog post The oldest world record – Robert Percival’s 1881 cricket ball throw


This video describes a series of experiments to measure pedestrian behaviour in high winds, through the use body and foot mounted instrumentation. The work formed part of a wider EPSRC sponsored project to investigate the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles in urban areas in high winds. A blog post on these tests can be found at Measuring the behaviour of pedestrians in high winds