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Control of Turbulence


The applicant researcher will do numerical studies to understand how to control or delay turbulence in boundary layer flows. This will be mainly carried out by Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) of the Navier-Stokes equations. To initiate the DNS we intend to use, as initial conditions, the nonlinear travelling wave solutions (TWS) for the boundary layer flow that the applicant discovered during his IE-fellowship, which served as an initial phase of a long-term plan of understanding turbulence. The TWS are suitable initial conditions which have been suggested to be crucial for the understanding of turbulence and for its control. They are also important since they have stable manifolds but also a few unstable manifolds whose trajectories usually relaminarise or go turbulent. The aim is to consider a mode that sits on the unstable manifold as an initial condition and force the resulting flow trajectory to revert to laminar rather than turbulence using control strategies.

The main idea of the proposed research is to use ideas from Nature and mimic the behaviour of plants and animals in order to develop ideas on how to control turbulence. Various strategies are planned to be studied to realise their suitability. The major goal is to produce clear steps forward in this branch of turbulent research.

In terms of achievements the outcome of the research will be several research papers disseminated in leading international journals; furthermore and more importantly, the research will pave the way for ideas on how to manipulate turbulence in the laboratory and in industrial applications.

The proposed research suits well with current research at the University of Genova and goes along the line of the fellow’s aspirations and academic interests. At the University of Genova the applicant researcher will find the ideal environment to develop and broaden further his scientific skills in fluid mechanics, stability theory, control, biomimicry and parallel computing.

Call for proposal

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Via Balbi 5
16126 Genova

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Alessandro Bottaro (Prof.)
EU contribution
€ 45 000