Popular talk of NASA scientist Dr. P. Balakumar at Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

Dr. Ponnampalam Balakumar (Research scientist at NASA Langley Research Center) delivered a popular talk about “stability-transition-turbulence” on 10th of January, 2018 at Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. This talk was jointly organized by Mechanical Engineering Society (MES), Faculty of Engineering and Vadakkin Chapter of Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka (IESL). This talk was mainly focus on his work done in NASA Langley Research Center. He discussed elaborately about the stability and transition of hypersonic boundary layers and laminar-transition region in supersonic and hypersonic flows.

Dr. Ponnampalam Balakumar graduated from University of Peradeniya in 1977 from Department of Civil Engineering. He obtained his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Missouri, Rolla, USA in 1981 and obtained his PhD in Aeronautics from MIT in 1986 specializing in Fluid Dynamics. He did his post-doctorate research in stability and transition of hypersonic boundary layers at Arizona State University, USA. Then, he worked as an Associate Professor at Old Dominion University until 2000. Since then he is working as a Research Scientist at NASA Langley Research Center. His area of research is stability, transition, and turbulence of supersonic and hypersonic boundary layers.

Abstract: Drag reduction is an important part in design of aerodynamic vehicles. Skin friction drag contributes more than 50% of the total drag on an aircraft. Skin friction drag reduction could be achieved by extending the laminar region on an airfoil and/or by reducing the turbulent skin friction. In this talk, a summary of predicting the laminar-transition region in supersonic and hypersonic flows will be discussed.

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