Distinguished Lecture draws crowd

ken-hall-distinguished-lecture-san-andres-childs-hall-polycarpou distinguished-lecture-audience

The Turbomachinery Laboratory (Turbo Lab) at Texas A&M University proudly hosted its third annual Turbomachinery Distinguished Lecture Wednesday, drawing a crowd of more than 80 students into a packed hall in the Engineering/Physics Building.

Dr. Kenneth C. Hall, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences at Duke University was invited to deliver “Nonlinear Analysis of Unsteady Flows in Multistage Turbomachines Using the Harmonic Balance Technique,” as part of the Turbomachinery Distinguished Lecture Series. Endowed in 2014 by the Turbo Lab on behalf of the Turbomachinery Advisory Committee,* the lecture series enables the Department of Mechanical Engineering to invite prominent turbomachinery experts to present lectures of importance and interest to Texas A&M students and faculty.

Dr. Luis San Andres, professor and associate director of the Turbo Lab said Hall was selected to speak because of his international standing as an expert on the non-linear aerodynamics forced response of axial compressors for gas turbines.  Hall explained the basics of a sound analytical method that saves substantial computational time while still delivering, with fidelity, the details of complex flow fields in rows of blades in a compressor, and their interaction with inlet guide vanes.

Jonathan Thiele, a graduate student who conducts two-phase flow research alongside Turbo Lab director Dr. Dara W. Childs said the lecture unlocked “Pandora’s Box.”

“The lecture opened my eyes,” Thiele said. “I learned that I have so much more to learn. I love these lectures and can’t wait to hear more. They broaden my scope of understanding, and that’s incredibly valuable to any student researcher.”

Hall earned bachelor, master and doctorate of science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research focuses include methods for computing the unsteady aerodynamics, structural dynamics, aeroelasticity and aeroacoustics of aerospace vehicles and turbomachinery, as well as the optimal propulsion of helicopters and birds in flight. Hall has served as vice president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and chair of the board of directors of the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI). He is the editor of the Journal of Turbomachinery and is a Fellow of the ASME and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

*The Turbomachinery Advisory Committee (TAC) is the governing organization of Turbo Lab personnel for the Turbomachinery SymposiumThe symposium is held each September in Houston, and hosted entirely by the Turbo Lab. 


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