Anthony Barnett, ’21, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
I analyzed airflow over the body of a typical SUV-type automobile in order to assess the benefits of active flow control in reducing drag. More specifically, I worked on creating an SUV model that would simulate synthetic jets, which use piezoelectric drivers to generate air that is then alternately blown and sucked in response to the surrounding flow conditions. After designing and printing many different models, my research group successfully created one that allowed us to analyze the airflow around the vehicle and potentially simulate the effects of using synthetic jets to reduce drag. This internship taught me many technical skills, including computer-aided design and the use of fabrication equipment such as a drill press. The biggest takeaway was the experience I gained working in a research environment. This experience will undoubtedly propel me in my future as a student and scholar.