Isogeometric multi-phase fluid-structure interaction with applications to energy systems

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


310 Kelly Hall

Dr. Jinhui Yan
Mechanical Engineering
Northwestern University


Renewable energy resources such as offshore wind, tidal stream/current, and wave, are indigenous, clean, and inexhaustible. Based on the prediction from National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), from the wind side, offshore wind could produce electricity for 39 million households by 2020. From the water side, it is estimated that extractable tidal stream energy is about 18 TWh/year within UK continental shelf and channel island territorial sea. The length of the coastline of United States is more than 12,380 miles, with huge offshore energy potential. In order to better exploit the offshore energy in United States, significant resources in the development of offshore energy harvesting devices such as wind turbines and tidal stream/current turbines should be invested.  Advanced simulations have the potential for ground-breaking achievements in the design of renewable energy harvesting devices. There are many engineering challenges associated with the mechanics of these energy harvesting devices, both on the structural mechanics and fluid mechanics sides, which make the analysis and modeling of these devices
quite difficult, especially in harsh environment. This presentation will focus on our recent efforts to address some of these challenges through advanced multi-phase fluid-structure interaction (FSI) simulations. The core computational technology we developed, which includes Isogeometric Analysis (IGA) and a moving domain multi-phase FSI formulation, will be reviewed. A number of applications, ranging from small scale bubble dynamics to large scale tidal turbines and offshore floating wind turbines, will be presented to show the power of the modeling techniques. The presentation will be concluded with ongoing and future research to go beyond the core techniques developed to include atmospheric boundary layers, wind/tidal farm modeling and caviation.


Jinhui Yan is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the department of mechanical engineering at Northwestern University. He obtained his Ph.D. in structural engineering/computational sciences from University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He has received several awards for academic excellence, such as Charles Lee Powell Fellowship from UCSD, Presidential Fellowship from Peking University, National Scholarship and Outstanding Award for Ph.D.  Student Abroad from Chinese government. He has authored 19 international journal papers (including 4 under review). He also serves as a reviewer for 7 top international journals and an external reviewer for Research Council of Hong Kong. His research focuses on computational mechanics, computational fluid dynamics and computational fluid-structure interaction and their applications in renewable energies and additive  manufacturing. His research vision is to develop an integrated design and analysis platform for renewable energies and additive manufacturing.


Volunteer Research Opportunity

VStudents from the department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics along with Dr. Nicole Abaid are conducting a Senior Design Project titled "Controlling Crowds Through Human-Robot Interactions." The goal of this project is to study how we can use a human-robot interaction to influence the movement of a group of people. To test our study, we will be performing an interactive experiment using a mobile robot and human participants in The Cube Lab at Moss Arts Center.

We are looking for student volunteers! Students will have an opportunity to participate in university research, and gain exposure to robotics, dynamics, and motion capture analysis in a state of the art lab.