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Mechanical Engineering (MNE) Seminar by Dr. Shabnam Raayi, Rowland Fellow, Harvard University

When: Friday, April 14, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Where: Science and Engineering Building 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, MA
Description: Mechanical Engineering (MNE) SEMINAR

Friday, April 14, 2023

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Science and Engineering Building (SENG), Room 115


Zoom: (Passcode: 500)

Dr. Shabnam Raayai, Rowland Fellow, Rowland Institute at Harvard University

Dynamics of Flow Past Textures and Arrays Inspired by Sharks and Pelicans

Nature uses geometry in fascinating ways to optimize flow fields: one example is the ribs on overlapping denticles on shark skin which allow sharks to swim faster than other animals in the ocean. Another is the case of formation flight used by groups of pelicans to minimize the energy required for flying (per pelican) compared to flying solo. In this talk, I will explore the effect of complex geometries and arrangements of solid boundaries on the flow field. First, I will focus on shark-inspired two-dimensional, symmetric, and periodic textures of various cross-sectional shapes (commonly known as riblets) which are placed aligned with the direction of the flow. Second, I will explore the effect of using arrangements of objects in the flow inspired by formation flight in pelicans and the interactions between flow past various members. I will describe the results of our custom-designed experiments using a combination of Taylor-Couette flows in Couette flow and Taylor-Vortex regimes and high Reynolds number laminar boundary layer flows in a water tunnel. I will discuss how each of these complex geometries and arrangements can be used to tune the flow field around the boundaries in terms of frictional loading, and flow instabilities.

Shabnam Raayai is a Rowland Fellow and principal investigator at Rowland Institute at Harvard University where her lab is focused on the study of problems of fluid-solid interaction involving textures and complex geometries. Prior to her current role, she was a postdoctoral associate at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. She received her SM and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and has won multiple awards including the outstanding teaching assistant award from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and the Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award in fluid dynamics from the American Physical Society.

For more information, please contact Dr. Hangjian Ling, MNE Seminar Coordinator (

All are welcome.

Students taking MNE-500 are REQUIRED to attend!

All other MNE BS and MS students are encouraged to attend. EAS students are also encouraged to attend.
Topical Areas: Faculty, General Public, Staff and Administrators, Students, Students, Graduate, Students, Undergraduate, University Community, College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Lectures and Seminars