Researchers in the Fluids Group of the departments of Civil Engineering and Mechanical and Materials Engineering investigate the underlying physical principles of complex systems and develop improved models for renewableenergy applications and for sustainable energy use (see Figure 1).

One component of this research is the study of turbulent flows on rough surfaces, which can be applied to hydroelectric power turbines and aircraft propulsion turbines. Another major research theme is the characterization of unsteady aerodynamic and hydrodynamic loadings for large-scale wind and hydroelectric/tidal systems. A unique experimental facility known as the OTTER Lab (Optical Towing Tank for Energetics Research) enables large scale testing of aerodynamic and hydrodynamic flows using highspeed laser and camera systems (see Figure 2).

researcher using a highresolution thermal imager
Figure 1: A researcher studies effusion cooling using a highresolution thermal imager. Effusion cooling is used in the combustors of modern gas turbine engines.

These studies, supported by the Canadian renewable energy and aerospace industries, include fluidstructure interactions of rotor systems, bio-inspired solutions for flexible blades, and novel energy-harvesting approaches. Applications for smallscale and off-grid systems are equally important in the context of intermittent energy production and energy storage, particularly for northern communities. In particular, low-inertia rotors and novel flow-battery technologies are being developed in the Hemodynamics and Energy Mobility (HEMo) Lab, where novel particle-laden flow batteries are imaged using laser and ultrasound techniques (see Figure 3).

Members of this group include an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and fellows of the American Physical Society (APS), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), and the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE). The group also includes the Canada Research Chair in Turbulence Simulation and Modelling, the HPCVLSun Microsystems Chair in Computational Science and Engineering, as well as the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow. Members have been awarded the Jules Stachiewicz Medal, a CANCAM Award, an Ontario Early Researcher Award (ERA), a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Accelerator Supplement, and a Discover Magazine Award for Technical Innovation.

3D-printed test article
Figure 2: A 3D-printed test article is pulled through the 15-metre long Optical Towing Tank for Energetics Research (OTTER) Lab’s optical towing tank while multiple high-speed cameras record the flow of dispersed particles, such as the vortex above, to determine the shape’s aerodynamics.
Researchers in the Hemodynamics and Energy Mobility (HEMo) Lab use laser-based experimental techniques
Figure 1: Researchers in the Hemodynamics and Energy Mobility (HEMo) Lab use laser-based experimental techniques to study mixing in confined, pulsatile flows laden with solid suspensions such as human blood. The improved understanding of these complex flows has also inspired a new class of flow batteries.