Baylor engineering prof among U.S. Air Force’s top ‘Young Investigators’
The phrase “turbulent boundary flows over sharp aerodynamic drag transitions” may not mean much to you, but the study of that very subject is important in aerodynamics — and therefore is important to the U.S. Air Force.
It’s also important to Dr. William Anderson, an assistant professor in Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science. For his work on the subject, Anderson was recently named the recipient of a prestigious Young Investigator Research Program Grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
Anderson received the grant after a competitive process that saw 234 applicants whittled down to only 42 recipients nationwide. The eligible “Young Investigators” are scientists and engineers who have received a Ph.D. in the last five years and “have already demonstrated exceptional ability and promise in their fields of research.”
What are these boundary flows that Anderson is studying? Think about how air flows over the wing of an airplane; the air closest to the wing’s surface moves slower than the rest of the air around it. That is the boundary layer. How that boundary layer flows affects the drag on an airplane; research on how to minimize this drag is useful in such fields as mechanical and aerospace engineering.
Anderson’s work will benefit the United States military, as the Air Force awards the grants to solve challenges related to advancing the Air Force mission and solving scientific challenges that they will face.
Sic ’em, Dr. Anderson!