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Aerospace and dynamics

Our faculty are actively involved in research in several sub-fields of aerospace engineering. We also have several projects related to dynamics issues for aeronautics.


Centers, consortia and institutes

Shock physics

In the Wisconsin Shock Tube Laboratory, Professor Bonazza and his group investigate the flow induced by the interaction of a shock wave with the interface between gases of different densities, involving shock refraction, mixing, and turbulence.

This kind of flow occurs in inertial confinement fusion experiments (the implosion of a spherical shell containing fusion fuels) and supersonic combustion systems (where the shock-induced mixing is postulated to promote the occurrence of chemical reactions over very short times).

Computational fluid dynamics

Professor Jen Franck uses computational tools to investigate the dynamics and physics of unsteady, turbulent flows. Her lab uses a range of computational techniques, including direct numerical simulation (DNS), large-eddy simulation (LES), and Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) solvers. These solvers are applied to fundamental problems in fluid mechanics and in applications areas such as aerodynamic flow control, wind/tidal energy, propulsion, or flapping flight.

Professor Choy’s research group develops quantum instruments based on atoms and atom-like systems for precise inertial sensing and timekeeping. Research interests in this area include advanced accelerometers and gyroscopes with improved positioning accuracy, precise and stable time and frequency standards, and the application of quantum sensors to navigate using maps of local gravity and magnetic variations.

Elastodynamics of metamaterials

Professor Thevamaran’s lab studies elastodynamics of non-Hermitian and parity-time symmetric metamaterials that incorporate various “engineered losses,” “lossy nonlinearities” and “gain” as useful ingredients to control and direct the mechanical energy transport. These systems exploit the proximity to an exceptional point singularity—a branch point singularity where the eigenvalues and the corresponding eigenvectors of a system coalesce—to create extreme wave-matter interactions. This unique approach to controlling mechanical waves through non-Hermitian material design is emerging as a paradigm shift in metamaterials research and development. Acoustic regulators, vibration absorbers and limiters, and vibration energy harvesters are a few of the many potential devices that can be created with non-Hermitian metamaterials.