A Universal Parametric Study of Shark Denticles' Anti-Flow-Reversal Mechanism

Researcher: Reid Prichard | Faculty Advisor: Wayne Strasser

It is known that small scales on shark skin interact with flowing water around them to prevent flow separation: the phenomenon known as “stalling” in aircraft. We seek to understand the physics driving this mechanism by using a simulation method known as computational fluid dynamics. In doing so, we hope to allow this mechanism to be applied to bio-inspired engineering designs.

The Effects on Flow of Sinusoidal Grooves on Dolphin Skin

Researcher: Elizabeth Diamond | Faculty Advisor: Wayne Strasser

Biomimicry is a vital tool for scientific discovery and engineering applications as created beings strive to imitate the perfect Creator. The hydrodynamic effects of textured surfaces on aquatic animals’ skin is a popular research area with many viable opportunities for utilization. Dolphin skin has not been well documented. Thus, Dolphin skin, embedded with grooves that run perpendicular to their flow and trace the girth of the animal, is a grand prospect of study. The asymmetric wave patterns allow for small vortices to form in them creating a partial slip condition that has the potential to reduce flow separation which is a main inducer of drag. A computational fluid dynamics study, with FLUENT by ANSYS, to test the effect of both round and rectangular grooves on the boundary layers will show a generated pressure gradient. This will be compared to the same flow happening over a smooth plate, which is the current industry standard to recommend or expel a possible means of improvement.

Bombardier Beetle Fire Extinguisher

Researcher: Elijah Yoder | Faculty Advisor: Wayne Strasser

The Bombardier Beetle utilizes a unique defense mechanism to protect itself; it sprays a stream of hot, pulsating liquid to ward off predators. My research seeks to mimic this defense mechanism and utilize it in a fire extinguisher. Much like the Beetle, this fire extinguisher would shoot a stream of pulsating steam long distances, quenching fires much more quickly and safely. This would allow for more effective firefighting both residentially and commercially by allowing the user to target fires more accurately and from a safer distance. The goal of this research is to create a working prototype, however there is much simulation to be done before that can happen.