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Bluff Body Aerodynamics

The emerging mobility systems such as electric and autonomous vehicles have made bluff body aerodynamics relevant again. For example, electric and fuel cell vehicles are still powered by low-density energy sources, and drag reduction, a relatively cost-effective means of improving fuel efficiency in road vehicles, can significantly improve their long-range capabilities. Furthermore, the design of future autonomous vehicles is not settled, and bluff body aerodynamics has a significant role to play and contribute.

In view of the above, my long-term goal in this field is to develop cost-effective drag-reduction devices and strategies for these emerging vehicles. However, this can only be done with a better physical understanding of ground vehicle aerodynamics: complex three-dimensional flows with turbulence. This is necessary to facilitate the development of strategies for vehicle design engineers to reduce drag in future vehicles. My research group focuses on obtaining comprehensive, high-quality experimental data on the aerodynamics of complex bluff bodies and simplified road vehicle models. The experimental work is complemented by computational fluid dynamics studies, using the Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes models as well as Detached Eddy Simulations