Published: Sept. 10, 2019 By

The CU Boulder campus as seen from aboveThe fifth annual Rocky Mountain Fluid Mechanics Research Symposium was held on July 29 at CU Boulder.

The primary purpose of the symposium was to provide student researchers in Colorado and the greater Rocky Mountain Region the opportunity to present and discuss their work in a casual setting, said Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Peter Hamlington.

“This conference celebrates the fantastic fluids research that is happening along the Front Range right now and it is loosely modeled after the annual meeting for the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics which happens during Thanksgiving every year,” said Hamlington, who co-hosted the event. “So this is also sort of a practice run for students presenting at that meeting in a few months.”

Hosted in part by faculty from the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU Boulder, the event featured professional researchers, faculty and students from nearby schools including Colorado School of Mines, CU Denver and Colorado State University as well regional schools like the University of Wyoming. Many regional labs participated as well, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Boulder. 

The keynote speaker for the conference was Penn State University Professor Jacqueline O’Connor, who discussed “The Role of Fluid Mechanic Instability in Gas Turbine Combustor Operability."

CU Boulder PhD student Ryan Darragh served as the lead student organizer for the conference, as well as the 2018 version.

For the first time at the conference, awards were given for best presentation in session. Awardees in each session were:

  • Wings: Riccardo Balin, CU Boulder
  • Model Development: Noemi Collado, CU Boulder
  • Combustion: Samuel Whitman, CU Boulder
  • Making CFD Work: Julia Ream, Florida State University
  • Machine Learning: Karen Stengel, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Engineering Applications: Caelan Lapointe, CU Boulder
  • Heat Transport: Jacob Johnston, Colorado School of Mines
  • Advanced Fluids: Alison Wallbank, CU Denver

The event was free thanks to funding from the CU Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science and Colorado School of Mines. Additional support was provided by Herbert and Karen Vogel through a Vogel Faculty Fellowship.