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Actuation and fragmentation of surface waves

Project Advisor
Professor Sunny Jung -

Project Collaborators
Dr. Anupam Pandey

Project Area/Concentration
Environmental fluid mechanics

Project Description
Waves not only excite surfers, but also captivate artists and scientists alike. For example, The Great Wave by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai has become one of the most influential work of art in the world (see figure 1(a)). Looking at it closely, one realizes that the painting remarkably captures the phenomenon of wave breaking into droplets of different sizes.  These tiny droplets remain suspended in air for long times, potentially carrying harmful toxins and pathogens to large distances.

In this project, we will study the generation of tiny droplets and bubbles as a surface wave smash onto rigid surfaces. In particular, we will look into how different surfaces like sand beds and rocky terrains influence this process. This project will combine designing and prototyping of automated components and fundamental understanding of fluid mechanics. The first part of the project will be to design and construct a wave maker with a rotating piston (see figure 1(b)) that can generate long surface waves in a shallow pool of water. The second part will involve full characterization of wave breakup including measurement of droplets/bubble size distribution and their dynamics.

Figure 1: (a) The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai. (b) Schematic of a rotating piston wave generator.
Figure 1: (a) The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai. (b) Schematic of a rotating piston wave generator.

Possible Courses

Course number Course title
BEE 3310 Bio-Fluid Mechanics
BEE 4500 Bioinstrumentation
BEE 4570 Biorobotics
MAE 4272 Fluids/Heat Transfer Laboratory
MAE 4650 Biofluid Mechanics
MAE 4651 Biofluid Mechanics
MAE 5230 Intermediate Fluid Dynamics with CFD
MAE 5650 Biofluid Mechanics
MAE 6270 Experimental Methods in Fluid Dynamics