Fluid Mechanics

Research at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the area of Fluid Mechanics includes theoretical, experimental and computational investigation of flow phenomena.

Experimental research: Work in experimental fluid mechanics includes investigation of high-speed jet flows and vortex-dominated wakes generated by swimming or flying animals. The high-speed jet flow experiments are performed in an anechoic chamber. The focus is on noise generation in high-speed jets with application in jet propulsion and noise reduction in wind farms.

Theoretical fluid mechanics: Research in this area includes the use of data analysis to advance our understanding and modeling of the physics of fluid turbulence. One of the tools employed is wavelet analysis, the application of which enables the deduction of coherent structures from turbulent flow data through resolution of the continuous flow fields in space/scale or time/frequency domains. Other analytical tools in dynamic system are also used to obtain low-dimension descriptions of complex flows. These include analysis of flow data using the Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (LCS) as well as the identification of Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCS) through analysis of Finite-Time Lyapunov Exponents of flow fields. Such methods have been applied to the analysis of high-speed jet flows as well as vortex-dominated water flows.

Computational Fluid Dynamics: Active research in CFD involves both development of methods and application of CFD to the analysis of various flow processes, in conjunction with the development of physical models. Techniques and tools are developed for rapid grid generation from practical CAD solid models. Reduced-order models are being developed for efficient computation and control of heat and mass transfer in energy-efficient environmental systems. In the area of combustion, strategies are explored for efficient evaluation of turbulence-chemistry interaction in turbulent flames.