Mohsin Al Barwani, a mechanical engineering alumnus, was chosen as the first-place recipient in the 2022 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE) Young Engineers Paper (YEP) Contest.
Jae Sung Park, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering and Al Barwani's faculty advisor, is co-author of the paper, "Dynamics of laminar-to-turbulent transition in a wall-bounded channel flow up to Re = 40,000."
The award was presented at the IMECE2022 conference, held in Columbus, Ohio from Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2022. The YEP contest is sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fluids Engineering Division.
Al Barwani's research studied the underlying mechanisms in the transition from laminar flow (fluid traveling smoothly or in regular paths) to turbulence (flows with chaotic changes in pressure and velocity), specifically as this process occurs in circular pipes or square ducts.
In transportation systems, the paper states, this transition causes significant increase in drag force, energy consumption, and, eventually, operating costs.
"Turbulence is typically a high-speed thing – like if an airplane or a car go fast, the air around it can really become chaotic and strong," Park said. "But there should be some path from low speed to high speed. When you know what happens in that transition from laminar to turbulent flow, you can make that transition smoother, safer and less costly."
This award, Park said, was possible because Al Barwani took the initiative.
"He took my fluid mechanics class when he was junior, and then he asked if there were any opportunities for undergraduates to do research in my lab, and he wound up spending two years with me," Park said. "We applied for the UCARE (UNL's Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience program) grant to do research and I then used my NSF (National Science Foundation) grant to continue to support students' research.
"This award shows the high level of research that undergraduate students are doing across the UNL campuses."
It's the second time in the past four years that one of Park's undergraduate students was awarded in the YEP award. Thomas Hafner received second place in the 2018 contest.
Submit a Story