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Aerospace Consortium Awards $2 Million
For Engineering Research Projects

Date: March 7, 2000
By: Chris Curran
Phone: (513) 556-1806
Archive: Campus News, Research News

The Dayton Area Graduate Studies Institute (DAGSI) awarded UC engineering researchers approximately $2 million in its latest round of grants. The DAGSI funds were provided through the Ohio Board of Regents. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) provided the research topics that are of fundamental importance to their mission.

UC received more funding than any other university in the first round of funding last year, and received funding for seven new

projects this year (four as principal investigators awards and three as co-PI awards).

"This was a very competitive environment," noted Roy Eckart, associate dean in the College of Engineering. "That's why we're so proud."

DAGSI funding is unique, because it requires that each principal investigator develop a collaboration with at least one other DAGSI member and a researcher with the Air Force Research Labs.

During a recent conference where researchers funded in 1999 presented their results, Eckart noted that "you could see the comraderie that has built up," in the short time the teams have been together.

For example, Paul Orkwis in aerospace engineering, is now collaborating with Mitch Wolff at Wright State to deliver a graduate-level course in computational fluid dynamics using new interactive video technology.

The research projects funded under the DAGSI program all relate directly to problems faced by Air Force researchers. They range from sensors to materials to information technologies, not just traditional aerospace areas such as propulsion and controls. So not surprisingly, five different engineering disciplines were rewarded with DAGSI funds. They are aerospace, chemical, electrical and computer, materials science, and mechanical engineering.

The following is a list of the DAGSI 2000 grant recipients and their projects:

  • "Computational Aeroacoustics Applied to Active Flow Control in Weapons Bays" Awatef Hamed, aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics.
    Combat aircraft experience unacceptable and potentially unsafe noise levels because of the design of modern weapons bays. Hamed's research findings will be applicable to both military and commercial aircraft.

  • "Improved Computational Design Analysis of High-Altitude Aircaft," Urmila Ghia, mechanical, industrial and nuclear engineering.
    Advanced modeling technology will be used to create analysis packages to study the behavior of vehicles flying at high altitudes. Ghia's results will apply to the Air Force and other aircraft used for high- altitude missions.

  • Application Accelerating Reconfigurable Computer," Ranga Vemuri, electrical and computer engineering and computer science.
    This project involves the development of an adaptive computer for field use in military and law enforcement applications where real-time information processing is required. Sample tasks include fingerprint analysis, target recognition, and picture identification.

  • "Passive and Active Control of Separated and Transitional Flows with Heat Transfer in Turbomachines," Kirti Ghia, aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics.
    Ghia's research will examine the application of MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) technology to passive and active control of boundary layers in engine compressors, fans, and turbines. Improved control is likely to also improve engine efficiency, so the research findings could benefit the Air Force, NASA, and GE Aircraft Engines.
  • In addition, Professors Steve Clarson, Vadim Guliants, and Marios Polycarpou were named as co-principal investigators on other grant projects. The 1999 grant recipients were principal investigators Trevor Williams, Steve Clarson, and Joe Boyd and co-PIs Carla Purdy and Paul Orkwis.

    Eckart said the long-term goal of the DAGSI seed money is to build closer relationships between Ohio's university-based researchers and the Air Force researchers at Wright Patterson in Dayton.

    "This is great experience for our faculty and graduate students. These are critical Air Force needs and very practical research projects."

    The ultimate signs of success will be career opportunities for UC graduates, increased federal funding for faculty research, and the transfer of new technology from UC labs to the Air Force and aerospace industry.