Raghu Gowda, Mechanical Engineering
“Our lab has a great mix of undergraduate and graduate students and Faculty working on diverse and challenging projects, which creates an exciting work atmosphere.”
"During my master’s studies in Mechanical Engineering at UMass Lowell, Prof. Eugene Niemi and Asst. Prof. David Willis got me interested in aerodynamics and wind engineering through their courses, and I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the field of wind turbine aerodynamics under them. In the Industrial Aerodynamics Lab we are experimentally investigating vortex wake behind scaled wind turbine rotors and flapping wing models. It is the structure of the wake, and its vorticity content, which dictates the fluid loading on the blades of the wind turbine. Understanding of these vortex structure instabilities and developmental mechanisms would enable us to efficiently extract energy from the wind as well as help improve the life of wind turbines. This knowledge is extended to bio-inspired flights too. Parachute fabric aerodynamics is also being researched here to develop a novel parachute with enhanced performance. Lasers (Particle Image Velocimetry-PIV) and water tank are being used to conduct these studies. The 200 mph wind tunnel is a very useful research tool in this lab; we frequently perform wind tunnel testing for various companies. Our lab has a great mix of undergraduate and graduate students and Faculty working on diverse and challenging projects, which creates an exciting work atmosphere."