Behind the Scenes of CoE RAISE: An interview with Andreas Demou, Computational Scientist at The Cyprus Institute
Is there an event or person that brought you to science?
As a young kid, I was a good student but rather unexceptional. My afternoons were more about playing football than doing my homework. At age 15, I got a low grade on a Mathematics test, and it really irritated me; that was the turning point. I started reading much more and discovered the beauty behind Mathematics, Computer Science and, most of all, Physics. I was fortunate enough to participate in a few national competitions and finally got the chance to study Physics.
Figure 1: Presenting wetting phenomena to young students in the 2023 Cyprus Institute's Science Fair.
In which field did you focus and what is special about it?
My research focuses on multiphase flows. This is a very broad research area, with applications on many different scales; from thermal convection in the surface of stars, to blood flows in capillary vessels. I worked on turbulent heat transfer, phase change (boiling and evaporation), flows with particles and, most recently, wetting hydrodynamics. No matter the application, multiphase flows are extremely demanding in terms of computational cost, especially when semi-empirical models are avoided, and the equations are solved via direct numerical simulations. Finding ways to accelerate such simulations is one of the core challenges in computational fluid dynamics, very much in line with the efforts of CoE RAISE.
Is CoE RAISE the first EU project you are participating in and in which tasks are you involved in?
RAISE is not the first EU project I participated in, but it surely is the largest one. I am involved in Task 3.5, working on the AI modelling of wetting hydrodynamics. In this task we are using AI to accelerate wetting simulations to propose efficient pathways for surface designing in applications that require controllable droplet transport.
Figure 2: Andreas during the All Hands Meeting at CERN
What is your impression so far and what are your expectations?
I came into this project having a rather basic knowledge of AI, but through the past two years I developed considerably as a researcher working on data-driven methods in fluid dynamics. Through the various seminars and workshops organized by CoE RAISE, I acquired invaluable knowledge on both new methods and modern AI tools. Equally important, the interaction with my RAISE colleagues is one of the most essential aspects of this effort, without which I would struggle to contribute to such a diverse and ever-expanding research area. My expectations for the remainder of the project are to produce a series of high quality publications, leveraging the workflows developed since the start of the project.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Being the husband of a dog-behaviorist, most of our free time is devoted to our two dogs, with long daily walks and a lot of training and playing. I am also inspired by music, and I enjoy finding new artists to listen to.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I feel privileged being a part of such an ambitious project and working alongside so many interesting people. We all got together a few times by now and had the chance to create some nice memories. Hopefully, we will have a few more meetings and, most importantly, we will stay in touch beyond the conclusion of this project.