Lento Manickathan
PhD student at Empa / ETH Zürich Address: Empa

Multiscale Studies in Building Physics
Überlandstrasse 129
8600 Dübendorf

  Room: Empa BA 203
  Tel: +41 58 765 46 04

  Additional Info: Empa Bautechnologien




Education & Employment

2015 - present: PhD student at Empa / ETH Zürich
2011 - 2014 Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (TU Delft)
2008 - 2011: Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering (TU Delft)

Research interests

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Finite Volume method (FVM)
  • Finite Element method (FEM)
  • Vortex methods (panel method, particle method)
  • Wind engineering
  • Wind tunnel research: Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV)
  • Urban climate research
  • Vegetation


PhD: Impact of Evapotranspiration on Urban Microclimate

Vegetation in urban environment is increasingly being utilized to mitigate Urban Heat Islands (UHI). Vegetation can improve human health and comfort in urban areas by providing shading and cooling through evapotranspiration. The study focuses on predicting the UHI mitigation potential of vegetation in urban microclimate using numerical study and experimental study. Numerical study involves CFD study using RANS with vegetation modelled as porous medium. Experiment study involves wind tunnel experiments and Refractive-Index-Matching (RIM) tunnel.

Figure 1. Interaction of vegetation with the environment Figure 2. Normalized mean velocity magnitude around a model tree at 5 m/s

Figure 3. Normalized mean velocity magnitude behind a natural tree at 10 m/s



Conference proceedings

2. Manickathan L., Defraeye T., Allegrini J., Derome D., Carmeliet J. (2017) Conjugate Vegetation Model for Evaluating Evapotranspirative Cooling in Urban Environment, In: 97th AMS Annual Meeting, Seattle, USA, 2017
1. Manickathan L., Defraeye T., Allegrini J., Derome D., Carmeliet J. (2016) Aerodynamic characterisation of model vegetation by wind tunnel Experiments, In: 4th International Conference on Countermeasures to Urban Heat Island, Singapore, May 31st - June 2nd 2016 (pdf preprint)


1. Palha A., Manickathan L., Ferreira C. S., van Bussel G. (2015), A hybrid eulerian-lagrangian flow solver, arXiv preprint (arXiv:1505.03368)
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