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Jennifer Franck
May 16, 2023

New DoD Research Award for Jennifer Franck

Written By: Caitlin Scott



Congratulations to Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Jennifer Franck on her new Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) award from the Department of Defense!

Jennifer Franck will receive $600,000 over a three-year period of performance for her project, ‘Mitigation of Vortex‐foil Interactions through Passive Shape Control.’ Franck will handle all the computational aspects of the project and her collaborator, Prof. Kenny Breuer from Brown University, will conduct the experiments.

Traditional aerodynamics have designed aircraft wings for ideal operating conditions with smooth and uniform flows and stiff wings designed to withstand the unsteady forces of turbulence and the high aerodynamic loads of take-off and landing. With the development of lightweight and strong structural materials, modern aircraft (manned and unmanned) are more fuel-efficient, can fly higher and with longer endurance, and can be small and agile to navigate difficult terrain. These characteristics increase the likelihood of an unfavorable response to gusts, or disturbances in the air generated through weather, terrain, or other aircraft in close vicinity. This research aims to discover if passive shape control can be beneficial to mitigating undesirable vortex interactions, and learn more about the governing flow mechanisms such as unsteady separation and vortex dynamics that dominate these interactions.

DEPSCoR is a capacity-building program designed to strengthen the basic research infrastructure at institutions of higher education in underutilized states/territories. The DEPSCoR Research Collaboration competition is open to tenured and tenure-track faculty members with appointments in the 37 states/territories eligible to compete for DEPSCoR funds. This competition helps introduce potential researchers to DoD’s unique research challenges and supportive research ecosystem. The DoD received over 115 white papers for the FY 2022 Research Collaboration competition, from which subject matter experts in the Military Services selected the final 25 collaborative teams.

Read the Department of Defense release: