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Dr. McKeon’s work focuses on experimental manipulation of wall-bounded flows for improved flow characteristics, such as reduction of drag, noise and structural loading or expansion of vehicle performance envelopes. Particular emphasis is placed on the effects of boundary conditions on turbulence characteristics and general flow physics, scaling and controllability, using an interdisciplinary approach to draw on developments in materials science and control techniques. Wind-tunnel studies permit development of practical control in challenging, unsteady flows where there is significant potential for scientific, technological and environmental gain (given the ubiquity of wall-bounded flows in aerospace and engineering applications).

Current interests include: manipulation of canonical and simple model flows to probe fundamental issues of flow physics and control; development of smart, biomimetic boundaries using discrete local surface morphing and sensing; development of practical control and measurement techniques and devices; ongoing experiments in the scaling of wall-bounded turbulence and interpretation for an investigation of scalability of control from the lab to large-scale applications.

The unifying theme is an experimental approach at the intersection of fluid mechanics, control and materials science to investigate fundamental flow questions, address efficiency and performance challenges in aerospace vehicle design and respond to the energy conservation imperative in novel and efficient ways.

Current projects

    Please see the website of the Center for BioInspired Engineering for more information on several current projects.

  • Morphing surfaces for flow control.
  • Control of bluff body flow - passive and active.
  • Airfoil control authority using morphing surfaces.
  • Scaling of canonical high Reynolds number wall flows.
  • Linear, non-normal mechanisms for transition in shear flows.
  • Transition in the presence of step changes in surface height.
  • Probe correction methods for high Reynolds number measurements.

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