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Industry / University Cooperative Research Center for Applications of Flow Control

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The vision for the I/UCRC for AFC is: To advance the modern flow control to industrial era by transitioning novel flow control technologies into engineering applications.


The mission of the Center for Applications of Flow Control (AFC) will be to foster multidisciplinary research and development to elucidate relevant phenomena, develop appropriate tools, and efficiently transition flow control research to engineering applications. We will strive to work closely with industry and government partners to ensure the efforts will lead to advancements that will play a critical role in future engineering systems of national and global interest. Applications of flow control encompass important and wide-ranging issues in engineering. While the need to understand flow physics in engineered fluid systems remains essential, the ability to control the dynamics is beginning to have a profound impact due to notable advances in diagnostics, actuation, sensing, estimation, and control schemes. The Fluid Dynamics and Aeroacoustics communities, for example, are sitting at the threshold of a paradigm shift as flow control is poised to alter the way many engineering fluid systems are designed. Once achieved and implemented, this will revolutionize many areas, ranging from all modes of transportation to energy production to process engineering and more. Due to the inherent interdisciplinary nature of the Center for AFC and the range of applications impacted, there is a critical need for collaborative research efforts between universities, industry, and government agencies to organize and utilize the collective resources to address the array of applications. The proposed center will build upon well-established collaborations between the Florida Center for Advanced Aero Propulsion (FCAAP) at the Florida State University and the Aerospace Research Center (ARC) at the Ohio State University (OSU). By having an I/UCRC, we will be able to better leverage FCAAP and with the complementary expertise of UM and ARC.

Intellectual Merit:

The AFC Center is motivated by two major goals: (1) moving beyond the current design paradigm that relies on conventional steady aerodynamics and (2) integrating active flow control into engineered fluid systems. Active flow control is a multidisciplinary field that spans numerous technical disciplines, including fluid dynamics, controls, smart materials, actuators, sensors, and signal processing. Advances in these fields are often combined and first demonstrated in laboratory-scale experiments and subsequently scaled to industrial prototypes. The transition of flow control methods to industry, however, has been hampered by several complex factors. First, increasingly demanding design requirements must be satisfied while maintaining reliability/safety and economy. Second, current design tools and procedures are inadequate to properly predict and scale performance of candidate flow control systems with the requisite certainty. Third, the possibility and catastrophic cost of failure lead to safe but incremental design changes. Therefore, industry-driven collaborative research initiatives are required to catalyze and transition innovations from university research outcomes to industry. The AFC Center will provide the framework for next-generation integrated flow-control systems by leveraging the resources and capabilities of a strong multi-university team that encompasses the necessary disciplines and uses the collective strategic investments and wisdom of industry and government leaders.

Broader Impacts:

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of active flow control, state-of-the-art methods in the contributing disciplines necessarily push conventional boundaries of standard engineering research and design. Rarely do engineers possess the necessary breadth of expertise required to harness the potential of multidisciplinary technological advances. By truly collaborating on multidisciplinary projects of common interest with a shared investment, the AFC center can help transform engineering fluid systems how they are designed and integrated. In particular, research at the AFC Center will operate at the forefront of this transformation by connecting advances in fluid dynamics, controls, smart materials, actuators, sensors, and signal processing and applying to societally relevant problems with industry guidance. The proposed I/UCRC AFC Center will combine a strong team of complementary researchers and educators, train our next generation of graduate students in interdisciplinary fields, actively recruit and mentor students from underrepresented groups, and team with entrepreneurial small businesses, industry, and government agencies. We anticipate these efforts will enhance the impact of the center on its constituents and society.

Organizational Structure: