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Engineering student receives research grant

Nov 21, 2011

Ohio Northern University student Derick Endicott, a senior mechanical engineering major from Belle Center, Ohio, has received an Ohio Space Grant Consortium (OSGC) Student-Innovative-Creative-Hands-on Project (SICHOP) grant to perform computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research.

Endicott’s research project involves attempts to control boundary layer separation on a cylinder in crossflow using surface heating of the cylinder. This research later may be applied to lowering the drag on items such as airplane wings and automobiles, resulting in significant fuel savings. Endicott is under the supervision of Dr. Jed E. Marquart, professor of mechanical engineering at ONU.

“This project is another example of undergraduate research at ONU being utilized to bring the faculty and students together for mutual benefit and to promote scientific discovery,” said Marquart.

Endicott performed a grid study to evaluate the best type of CFD grid topology for the application (unstructured, structured, hexahedral cells, tetrahedral cells, prism cells, etc.) as well as the grid density and configuration necessary to capture the flow effects. CFD runs then were made to establish the baseline (unheated) case and validate the results against accepted experimental and computational values. The next step is to continue the work by heating all or part of the cylinder to control and delay the flow separation, thus reducing the form drag on the cylinder.

Because this work is a large effort, Endicott has elected to continue working on the project as a special topics course for both the fall and spring semesters. Endicott and Marquart recently presented preliminary results at the Pointwise User Group Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, and have submitted an abstract to present a conference paper during an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conference to be held in summer 2012.

As a partial result of his involvement with this project, Endicott has decided to pursue a graduate degree in aerospace engineering and a career in research.