The Center for Research and Engineering in Aero/Hydrodynamic Technologies (CREATe) at Virginia Tech recently hosted its third Scientific Day on March 16. Held at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, Scientific Days are designed as an opportunity for faculty and students to gather, share ideas and hone their skills in presenting complex research in experimental aero/hydrodynamic technology.

“Scientific Day was a great success, and an opportunity to introduce our inaugural CREATe Fellows; Jill Marlowe, Digital Transformation Officer for NASA, and Gordie Follin, CTO of Falconwing Technologies. The breadth of research presented demonstrated the truly interdisciplinary nature of the Center, and the power of cross-fertilization in inspiring new scientific advances.” 

The day was broken out into four sessions, covering topics such as turbulent boundary layers; bubbles and droplets; fluid structure interaction and image based metrology.

Senior PhD student Vidya Vishwananthan moderated the first session, discussing the VT/NASA Benchmark Validation Experiment for RANS and LES Investigations: BeVERLI. This major encompasses experimental work being performed at Virginia Tech, at the University of Toronto and at SINTEF Ocean in Trondheim, Norway, as well as computational efforts underway in a number of NATO countries. Presenters included:

  • Dr. Todd Lowe, who provided an overview of the effort
  • Julie Duetsch-Patel: The BeVERLIHill three-dimensional separating flow case: cross-facility comparisons of validation experiment result
  • Thomas Ozoroski: Computational Fluid Dynamic Analysis of the BeVERLIHill
  • Aldo Gargiulo: Computations of the BeVERLIHill Three-Dimensional Separating Flow Model Validation Cases


Between the first two sessions, 4th-year PhD student Jeremiah Whelchel gave an invited presentation on the noise produced by electrically driven propeller systems used in unmanned and manned vertical takeoff vehicles, and showed that much of this noise is the result of the motors themselves, rather than the propellers they drive.

Professor Olivier Coutier-Delgosha moderated the second session, on bubbles and droplets. Presentation and discussion brought together work being taken to understand the dispersion of aerosols associated with ‘red tides’ on Florida’s Gulf Coast, that of plant pathogens through water droplets, as well as the behavior of supercooled water droplets impacting solid surfaces with application to aircraft icing. Talks in this session included;

  • Dr. Shane Ross: Wind driven spume droplet production and the transport of microorganisms from aquatic environments
  • Joe Ghossein: The Effect of Liquid Properties on Gas Release from Bursting Bubbles
  • Joe Ghossein, Chinmay Kendurkar, Ahsan Naveed, Jack Carmody, Pratulya Rajan: Droplet Impact Dynamics: Numerical Overview with Experimental Focus on Varied Surface Properties


Session three was moderated by postdoctoral researcher Dr. Javad Javaherian and include 3 very different perspectives on fluid structure interaction from flexible structures under dynamic loading in water, to the flexible walls of the VT Stability Wind Tunnel in anechoic configuration, to the unsteady pressures that drive panel vibrations in the fuselages and hulls of vehicles. Presentations included;

  • Nick Scianna: Flapping, Flexible Plates Near a Free Surface
  • Dr. Matt Szöke: CFD and FSI modeling of Kevlar-walled wind tunnels
  • Shishir Damani: Low-Wavenumber Wall Pressure Measurements in Zero-Pressure Gradient Boundary Layer Flow


Finally, the day wrapped up with session four, introduced by professor William Devenport and focused on image based metrology. The theme for the session was set by the recent announcement of a new DURIP award to Virginia Tech, led by center faculty, of a state of  the art time-resolved particle tracking velocimetry system. Talks, focussing on how this system would be used, were;

  • Dr. Todd Lowe: Making flow measurements near surfaces
  • Dr. Nathan Alexander: Multirotor Response to Large Disturbances
  • Dr. Olivier Coutier-Delgosha: Velocimetry and pressure reconstruction in high speed cavitating flows