Aerospace Engineering Professor Secures NSF Grant

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How can we use fluid dynamic interactions for our benefit? What can nature teach us about these interactions? Dr. Ebenezer Gnanamanickam will explore these and other questions thanks to a $274,932 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

Gnanamanickam, an Aerospace Engineering professor in the Daytona Beach College of Engineering, will examine the relationship between turbulent flows and long, flexible hair-like microstructures. These microstructures are similar to the airflow sensors that bats use in flight, lateral line sensors that fish use while swimming, or the hair cover of animals.

The exact interactions that lead to balanced flight (in the case of bats) or the manner in which fish use their sensors to detect predators are poorly understood, in part because of the complex physics at play. Gnanamanickam and Ph.D. student Pratik Deshpande hope to shed more light on this relationship by using advanced image-based flow diagnostic tools to measure and describe the interactions between these microstructures and the background turbulent flow.

Dr. Lyrintzis, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Aerospace Engineering, mentioned that “Understanding how nature works is an important step in designing efficient aerospace vehicles.”

Gnanamanickam’s research will continue through at least 2025, with the measurements he collects poised to impact fields ranging from aerospace engineering to non-linear energy systems and physiology.

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