"I applied to the University Scholars Program to perform research with a distinguished professor and to evaluate my academic interests in preparation for graduate school."
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Fluid mechanics, design and optimization, finite element analysis, aerodynamics, and computational methods.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Deans's List
- Anderson Scholar with Distinction
- Tau Beta Pi
- Interdisciplinary Microsystems Group
SECME GatorTrax Undergraduate Tutoring.
Hobbies and Interests
- Bowling, golf, and science.
Design, Fabrication, and Testing of a Wall Shear Stress Sensor
The wall shear stress is a fundamental quantity of interest in fluid flow problems. It provides valuable insight into many fluid mechanic phenomena, particularly the production of drag and the structure of turbulent flows. Current measurement methods do not offer high spatial and temporal resolution for large areas of interest. Recently, German researchers developed a sensor design which uses the direct optical measurement of the tip deflections of an array of flexible micro-pillars to determine the wall shear stress distribution. This research proposal seeks to further investigate this design, with particular emphasis on optimizing the geometry of each pillar as to increase the sensitivity of the device. The pillars are modeled as cantilever beams subjected to a linear load; this remains valid as long as the pillars are within the viscous sublayer, where the velocity profile is approximately linear. Using analytical techniques and finite element analysis, pillars with various geometries are analyzed to assess the relationship between the device’s sensitivity, defined as the pillar tip displacement normalized by the shear stress, and usable bandwidth. Once the optimum pillar design is obtained, a single row of pillars will be fabricated at the Nanoscale Research Facility. The fabrication process entails creating pillar molds via photolithography and filling these molds with the elastomer polydimethylsiloxane. This process requires further refinement and is being investigated with the assistance of a graduate student. The sensor design will be tested in a micro-channel flow. Experimental results will be compared to those predicted by the exact solution of the Navier-Stokes equations. A strong correlation will validate the design principles used in the process. A shear stress sensor with a wide range of applicability and a high spatial/temporal accuracy would prove to be an invaluable tool in the field of aerodynamic measurement technologies, particularly with regards to flow control.