Fluid Mechanics

The Fluid Mechanics Research Group performs research in a wide variety of areas, employing theoretical, experimental and numerical tools. Current projects include studies in turbulent jets and mixing layers, flow control using piezoelectric actuators, hydrodynamic stability of flows driven by surface-tension gradients, fluid mechanics in microgravity, thin films, stability of unsteady swirling flows, vortex breakdown and, in conjunction with faculty in bioengineering, work on hemodyanmics, on flow in bioreactors and on the fluid dynamics of the heart. Support for research in fluid mechanics comes from several sources such as AFOSR, NASA, NSF, the American Heart Association, the Whitaker Foundation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as private companies.

Facilities include the Fluid Mechanics Research Laboratory (FMRL) at the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and diagnostic tools suitable for research work in the manipulation and control of shear flows. The design and renovation of the 2600 square foot laboratory space (which included the installation of a 50 ton water chiller unit) was completed in May 1993, and the installation of equipment began in June of that year. The laboratory houses a low-speed, high-quality, open-return wind tunnel having a test section measuring 1 m x 1 m, a closed-return water shear layer facility, a number of air jets including a swirling jet, and a 300-gallon water tank.

Data acquisition and processing are performed using a number of dedicated Macintosh computer systems. In addition to standard diagnostic equipment, the laboratory is also equipped with multichannel hot-wire anemometers, instrumentation amplifiers, high-voltage amplifiers, D/A electronics, cold-wire thermometers, and a number of computer-controlled traversing mechanisms. Optimal diagnostic resources include a twochannel laser-Doppler velocimeter, and a laser system for measurements of scalar concentration fields.

Research Facilities

  • Computational Hydrodynamics and Biofluids Laboratory
  • Fluid Mechanics Research Laboratory
  • Fluids, Optical and Interfacial Diagnositcs Laboratory
  • Fuel Cell and Battery Technology Laboratory
  • Fuel Cell Systems Laboratory
  • Institute for Paper Science and Technology
  • J. Erskine Love Jr. Manufacturing Building (Faculty and graduate student offices and labs)
  • Shock Tube and Advanced Mixing Laboratory (STAM) Lab
  • Wind Tunnel