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TFSA Research Groups

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Flow Physics and Computational Engineering (FPCE)

The mission of FPCE is to provide new ideas, models, and computational tools for accurate engineering design analysis and control of complex flows (including chemical reactions, multi phase flows, acoustics, plasmas, interactions with electromagnetic waves and other phenomena) of interest in aerodynamics, propulsion and power systems, electronic cooling, environmental engineering, planetary entry, and other areas. A significant emphasis of FPCE is on physical modeling, computational engineering, uncertainty quantification, and analyses of engineering systems.

With rapid developments in computer technology, the future offers great opportunities for computational engineering analysis and design. FPCE blends research on flow physics and modeling with algorithm development, scientific computing, and numerical database construction and applications to systems involving flows. FPCE students and research staff are engaged in the development of new methods and tools for generation, access, display, interpretation and post-processing of large databases resulting from numerical simulations of physical systems. FPCE is closely connected with the Center for Turbulence Research (CTR), an internationally recognized institution for fundamental research on turbulence, and the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP) of the Department of Energy, a multidisciplinary program established to advance computational science with application to complex engineering systems.

Center for Turbulence Research (CTR)

CTR’s principal objective is to stimulate significant advances in the physical understanding of turbulence leading to improved capabilities for control of turbulence and modeling for engineering analysis.

Although the emphasis of CTR is to advance the understanding of turbulent flows for engineering applications, it is an interdisciplinary program. Researchers with interest in fluid mechanics from mathematics, aeronautics, meteorology, physics, oceanography, and other areas all conduct research at CTR.

Current research projects include: subgrid scale modeling for large eddy simulations of complex turbulent and transitional flows, including studies of compressibility effects on turbulence; shock wave/turbulence interaction; multi-phase flow; turbulent mixing, heat transfer, combustion, aerodynamics noise and hydro-acoustics; structure and mechanics of turbulent shear flows; active and passive turbulence control including applications of optimal control theory; fundamental turbulence modeling for applications, including effects of flow compressibility, rotation, solid boundary, flow separation, and chemical reactions; sub-grid scale modeling for large-eddy simulation of complex flows and non-equilibrium turbulent flows; and the development of algorithms for systems with broad range of scales in complex geometry, and parallel computing.

Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP)

PSAAP stands for Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program. This is a large research program funded by the US Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration. Stanford University is the primary institution with the University of Colorado Boulder and Purdue University as partners.

The objective of the INSIEME project under PSAAP III is to exploit Exascale computing systems to predict a complex multi-physics phenomenon with combined innovations in task-based programming, runtime environments, physical models, numerical algorithms, data analysis, learning at scale and uncertainty quantification.

The overarching problem is the prediction of reliability of in-space ignition of cryogenic methane and liquid oxygen propellants in a rocket combustor by using pulsed high-energy lasers. The problem involves a broad set of physical phenomena, including multiphase compressible fluid dynamics, phase change, turbulence, mixing, laser-induced ignition, and combustion.

Thermofluids, Energy, and Propulsion Systems Group (TEPS)

The Thermofluids, Energy, and Propulsion Systems Group (TEPS) is an interdisciplinary teaching and research group, combining aspects of atomic and molecular physics, lasers and electro-optics, physical chemistry and electromagnetic phenomena, together with the traditional mechanical engineering disciplines of fluid mechanics, heat transfer and thermodynamics. The TEP has several associated laboratories, including the Advanced Laser Diagnostics and Shock Tube Lab, the Advanced Propulsion Lab, the Advanced Energy Systems Lab, and several more.