MechE Colloquium: Data-driven analysis and modelling of unsteady vortex dominated flows

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Date 01.03.2022 12:0013:00  
Speaker Prof. Karen Mulleners, Unsteady Flow Diagnostics Laboratory (UNFoLD), Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IGM), School of Engineering (STI), EPFL
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Face masks are recommended for in-person attendance in MED 0 1418.

Abstract:
At UNFoLD, we specialise in the experimental measurements and data-driven analysis of unsteady vortex dominated flow interactions with applications in bio-inspired propulsion, wind turbine rotor blade aerodynamics, and gust interactions. The unsteady flow conditions we are interested in can be the result of temporal changes in the surrounding fluid flow velocity and direction, e.g. due to gusts, wakes, or shear flows; or it can be the result of the unsteady movement of the objects that interact with the flow, e.g. pitching, flapping, or rotating wings and airfoils. The unsteadiness can be a blessing: it allows bumblebees to fly despite having small wings, and creates electrical power by rotating wind turbine rotors; but it can also cause serious damage to the objects subjected to unsteady flow interactions: loss of lift and manoeuvrability, structural vibration and fatigue damage.

In this colloquium, I will present how we use experimental data to unfold the origin and development of unsteady flow separation and vortex formation and how this aids to exploit the benefits and limit the harm caused by unsteady flows.

Bio: Karen Mulleners is an assistant professor in the institute of mechanical engineering in the school of engineering at EPFL since 2016. She is the head of the unsteady flow diagnostics laboratory (UNFoLD). She is an experimental fluid dynamicist who focusses on unfolding the origin and development of unsteady flow separation and vortex formation. Karen studied physics in Belgium (Hasselt University, previously Limburgs Universitair Centrum) and the Netherlands (TU Eindhoven). She received her PhD in mechanical engineering from the Leibniz Universität Hannover in Germany in 2010 for her work on dynamic stall on pitching airfoils that she conducted as a member of the German aerospace centre (DLR) in Göttingen. Before joining EPFL in 2016, Karen was a (non-tenure track) assistant professor at the Leibniz Universität Hannover in Germany.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free

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MechE Colloquium: Data-driven analysis and modelling of unsteady vortex dominated flows

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