The Computational Aerosciences Lab is directed by Professor Karthik Duraisamy. The lab conducts research that involves the development of computational algorithms and models with application to fluid flows of Aerospace interest. This includes fluid dynamic modeling at a fundamental level as well as in an integrated system-level setting. An overarching theme in our lab involves the use of simulation and data-driven methods to answer scientific and engineering questions with an appreciation of the effect of numerical errors and modeling uncertainties on the predicted results.
The Gas Dynamics Imaging (GDI) Lab is directed by Professor Mirko Gamba. The GDI Lab research interests and activities mainly focus on laser diagnostics for fluids and reacting flows, low- and high-speed mixing and combustion. They conduct experimental investigation of supersonic combustion in scramjet-type environments, hypersonic impulse facilities, rocket combustion phenomena, development and application of PLIF-based techniques for mixing and thermometry, and turbulent nonpremixed combustion.
The Laboratory for Computational Fluid Dynamics (KECK CFD) has a three-prong research program:
The Nonequilibrium Gas & Plasma Dynamics Laboratory (NGPDL) is directed by Professor Iain D. Boyd. NGPDL is active in the development and application of physical models and numerical methods for simulation of nonequilibrium gas flows and plasmas. Current aerospace application areas include electric propulsion (small rockets used to control spacecraft), and hypersonic aerothermodynamics (flight of spacecraft at high speeds).
Experimental and theoretical research is carried out on the development and application of electric propulsion systems, including electrothermal propulsion systems, electromagnetic propulsion systems and electrostatic propulsion systems. The centerpiece of the laboratory is a large vacuum chamber that is 9m in length and 6m in diameter and is the largest vacuum facility of its kind at any university in the nation. A full range of measurement, instrumentation and data acquisition equipment supports the facility.
The Propulsion and Combustion Engineering Laboratory (PACE) consists of Professor James F. Driscoll and his graduate students in the department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. Research in the group focuses on employing advanced diagnostics to study both the fundamentals of turbulent combustion and its application to propulsion systems. Particle image velocimetry (PIV), planar laser induced fluorescence (PLIF), laser velocimetry, schlieren and shadowgraph techniques are some of the more common diagnostic tools used in the lab for flow visualization.
The Gas Dynamics Laboratories (GDL) run 10 wind tunnels for instructional and research work. These wind tunnels are used for a variety of experiments and lab courses on topics such as fluid dynamics, combustion and propulsion. Below is a list of our wind tunnel facilities:
Learn more about Wind Tunnels
The Center for Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics (CRASH) is directed by Professor Paul Drake (CLASP) with Professor Kenneth Powell as co-PI. It advances predictive science in the nationally important area of radiation hydrodynamics (RH) via a unified, multi-prong approach. To substantially improve the ability to do predictive simulations of high-energy-density and astrophysical flows, center researchers are:
The François-Xavier Bagnoud Flight Vehicle Institute (FVI) was founded in 2007 with the generous support of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Association. An integral part of the Aerospace Engineering Department, the Institute focuses on research and educational topics motivated by flight vehicles in an educational setting. These topics are broad in scope and include issues related to airplanes, helicopters, rockets, satellites and interplanetary missions. The institute also sponsors workshops, scholarly reports and visiting researchers and guest lectures, including the François-Xavier Bagnoud Lecture in Aerospace Engineering.
The Center for Space Environment Modeling (CSEM) is directed by Professor Tamas Gombosi (CLASP) with Professor Kenneth Powell as co-director. It is an interdisciplinary research organization of the College of Engineering, University of Michigan. CSEM is comprised of a tightly-integrated group of faculty and students from the Department of Aerospace Engineering, the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
The Constellation University Institutes Project (CUIP) is a consortium of approximately 20 universities in the United States working through a cooperative agreement with NASA to focus on addressing key technical challenges of the NASA Constellation Program. To this end, the portfolio of CUIP is comprised of the following key technical areas, or virtual institutes (VIs):
NASA centers heavily involved in Constellation application of these technical areas are engaged in extensive technical collaboration with the university researchers through research tasks. This collaboration is integrated within the Constellation Program and occurs for Constellation Program Level II Offices, the Crew Launch Vehicle Project, the Crew Exploration Vehicle Project, the Lunar Lander Project, and other Constellation Projects that are established over the course of the program. Ms. Claudia Meyer and Dr. Jeff Rybak are, respectively, NASA CUIP Manger and Deputy Manager.
There are over 50 baselined research task plans within the CUIP, of which the University of Michigan has the largest share, leading about 25 percent of the tasks and the budget. The Aero faculty members currently actively involved in the CUIP project include Professors Carlos Cesnik, Iain Boyd and Wei Shyy.
The Michigan/Air Force Center of Excellence in Electric Propulsion (MACEEP) is directed by Professor Alec Gallimore. It fosters collaboration among participating universities to enhance the research and development of plasma propulsion systems and materials processing.
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Boeing and an Aero-led team have established the Michigan/AFRL/Boeing Collaborative Center in Aeronautical Sciences (MAB-CCAS). Established in April 2006, with an initial five-year funding, the MAB-CCAS’ mission is to develop, sustain and amplify an internationally recognized center of excellence in computational aeronautical sciences research and education through strategic, robust interaction between the faculty and students and AFRL. The MAB-CCAS’ overall scope includes:
Large scale, high resolution, multi-physics modeling and simulation;
Validation, verification and uncertainty assessment in computational sciences; and,
Software tool development.
The MAB-CCAS consists of the following Aerospace Engineering faculty: Iain Boyd, Carlos Cesnik, Jim Driscoll, Chris Fidkowski, Peretz Friedmann, Matthias Ihme, Ken Powell and Phil Roe. Three faculty colleagues from Michigan State University are members of the MAB-CCAS.
The current research emphasis of MAB-CCAS includes:
The Space Institute will coordinate space research and engineering efforts into a common framework, creating synergies between complementary efforts, enabling creative public-private partnerships in space, and mutualizing infrastructures needed for the University of Michigan to become an international leader in space research, engineering, policy, and exploration. The major thrusts of the University of Michigan Space Institute:
The associate directors from the Department of Aerospace Engineering include:
Mirko Gamba – Research Interactions: Creates networking events, space-related laboratories list upkeep, lab tour coordination, cross-dept lab coordination, cosponsoring seminars, research idea workshops.
James Cutler – External Stakeholder Interactions: Coordinates meetings with industry, government, alumni, coordinating job fair panels.