|Ratnesh K. Shukla|
A range of fluid mechanics phenomena are being studied within the Department using both experimental and computational techniques. Prof. Jaywant Arakeri and his group has been actively carrying out experimental research in turbulent natural convection since the late 1980s. His activities have now been diversified into applied areas such as precision agriculture in protected environments. The experimental capability of the fluid mechanics team was enhanced after the joining of Prof. R.N. Govardhan in the early 2000s. His areas of interest include drag reduction, interaction of vortex with bubbles, turbomachinery flutter and shock boundary layer interactions. The computational strength of the fluid mechanics group was enhanced after Prof. Ratnesh K. Shukla and Prof. Gaurav Tomar joined the faculty. Together, they cover a wide range of topics in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) involving multiscale, multiphase and complex non-Newtonian flows. Prof. Aloke Kumar has recently joined this group, introducing the relatively nascent area of complex fluids.
The experimental and computational teams are now collaborating on a number of difficult and interesting fluid dynamics problems such as optimal surface actuation for drag reduction, thrust from rigid/flexible flapping foils for ‘robotic fish’, and biofluid mechanics involving flexible surfaces and unsteady boundary layers. A brief account of some of the exciting developments that have resulted is summarized below, with the topics being roughly ordered in decreasing order of interest – starting from turbulent convection at the geophysical scale to multi-scale simulations using molecular dynamics at the atomic/molecular level.