Director: Michael Amitay, Professor, and James L. Decker ‘45 Endowed Chair in Aerospace Engineering; Director, Aerospace Program
The mission of the Center for Flow Physics and Control (CeFPaC) is to conduct research in flow physics, prediction, modeling, and control. The center focuses on a combination of basic research aimed at verifying or developing theories for fluid dynamic behavior and the application of these theories towards controlling flows. The research involves a large variety of macro and micro flow fields including laminar and turbulent boundary layers, jets, shear layers, wakes, airfoils, finite wings/blades, inlets and UAVs.
The center’s main three thrusts are: Aerodynamics (aerial and underwater vehicles), Wind Energy (smart wind turbine blades, and the building of integrated wind), and two-phase flows.
The research in Aerodynamics has four main objectives: (1) to understand the flow mechanisms associated with the interaction between the flow and the actuators, (2) to explore, experimentally and numerically, the feasibility of using active flow control for flight control, (3) to develop low order models of the flow, and (4) to develop closed loop control schemes.
Wind energy focuses on topics such as smart wind turbine blades and building integrated wind. As the desire to harvest energy from the wind increases, industrial manufacturers seek to implement techniques that improve wind turbine efficiency and longevity. The use of variable-speed rotors (used in most modern large-scale turbines) offers an efficiency increase by allowing turbines to operate closer to the wind. The development of larger, more efficient turbines mandates a fundamental study of the interaction between the wind and the blade so that these effects can be considered and exploited in the design of larger turbines.
CeFPaC is poised to make an important impact in the rapidly emerging field of active flow control. The Center focuses on the important fields of both aerospace engineering and energy systems. It works to advance the state-of-the-art in wind turbine blades, green airplanes, smart buildings, and more.
Affiliated Faculty: Isom Herron, Professor, Mathematical Sciences; Fotis Kopsaftopoulos, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering; Chris Letchford, Professor and Department Head, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Daniel Lewis, Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering; Sandipan Mishra, Associate Professor, Mechanical Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering; Onkar Sahni, Associate Professor, Mechanical Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering
Administrative Specialist: Kathleen Harrison