Center for Environmental and Applied Fluid Mechanics

Weekly Seminar
Weekly Seminar

Annual Symposium
CEAFM Dual Degree Program

Weekly Seminar: Spring 2014

Speaker: Dr. Kourosh Shoele (JHU | MechE)
Title: "Fluid Interaction with Structures, from Fish Fins to Hydrokinetic Devices"

Date: Friday, February 28, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Gilman Hall 50 (Marjorie M. Fisher Hall)


Studying the interaction between fluid and structure is a fundamental step in understanding the underpinnings of many engineering and physical phenomena, from energy harvesting to biolocomotion of insects, birds and fishes. The complex nature of these interactions makes the design of computational, experimental, and analytical techniques for modeling such problems challenging. Here I discuss new procedures, both in potential flow and viscous flow, for studying the interactions of a flexible structure with a flow. In particular, I will focus on two particular phenomena, the flow interaction with skeleton-reinforced fish fins and the extraction of ocean energy through wind and wave conversion devices. Fins of bony fishes are characterized by a skeleton-reinforced membrane with a soft collagen membrane strengthened by embedded flexible rays. The fish can control the rotational motion of each ray to gain a multi-degree of freedom over the fin motion and deformation. We have developed special fluid-structure interaction models to simulate the performance of a structurally idealized flexible fin at both potential and intermediate Reynolds number flow. The results illustrate that the fish's capacity to control the motion of each individual ray, as well as the anisotropic deformability of the fin, are essential to high propulsion performance. By drawing connections with a set of phenomena, we demonstrate that this structural design is a recurring feature in nature. The ocean offers numerous resources for renewable energies, from winds to waves, currents and tides. The harvesting of ocean energy is a relatively new and emerging research area. The multidisciplinary nature of problems involving renewable energies requires the integration between several key areas including fluid dynamics, mechanical design of energy conversion devices, structural analyses of conversion devices and control engineering to improve the power generation. I discuss my recent progresses in modelling, control and prediction of dynamic systems in energy conversion devices. In particular, the results illustrate the benefits of active controlling of a point absorber wave converter and an oscillatory water column (OWC) device.


Dr. Kourosh Shoele is a postdoctoral researcher at Mechanical engineering Department in JHU working with Prof. Rajat Mittal on dynamics of heart valves and heat transfer enhancement by aeroelastically vibrating reeds. Previously he was a research engineer in private industry designing new hydrokinetic power systems and exploring the possible techniques to improve performances of current systems. He received his doctoral degree in 2011 in structural engineering from University of California San Diego, where he worked with Prof. Qiang Zhu, studying fluid structure interaction with highly flexible structures and anisotropic bio-membrane. He then worked as a postdoctoral fellow in University of California San Diego with the focus on numerical and experimental studies of offshore wind turbines. He received his M.Sc. degree in structural engineering form Civil and Environmental Engineering department of Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, in 2006 and B.Sc. from the Civil Engineering department of Shiraz University in 2003. His research interests are in the area of fluid structure interaction modeling techniques, biolocomotion and renewable energies.

Upcoming Seminar

CEAFM Seminar

Speaker: Prof. Elie Bou-Zeid (Princeton University)
Title: "New insights into the dynamics of the stably-stratified Ekman boundary layer from direct and large-eddy simulations"

Date: Friday, September 5, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Gilman Hall 132

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