MEMS Seminar: Professor Haibo Dong

Nov 2

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Professor Haibo Dong, University of Virginia


Flapping with flexible appendages is a hallmark of swimming and flying in nature, but achieving biological levels of aero/hydro-performance in bio-inspired robots design has proven elusive. This is due to our lack of understanding of the fundamental physics of the bio-inspired locomotion and experimental and computational difficulties in studying live swimming animals. In this talk, a combined experimental and computational approach will be introduced for studying unsteady flows of freely swimming/flying animals. High-speed photogrammetry system and an accurate 3D data reconstruction technique are used together to measure the kinematics of animal body and appendages with extraordinary details. A model reduction tool is developed to extract the dominant kinematical components for analysis and computational modeling. An in-house, Cartesian-grid-based computational fluid dynamics solver is then used to simulate corresponding unsteady flows in all their complexity. Swimming animals such as trout, jack fish and sunfish will be used as examples to discuss the flow physics and hydrodynamic benefits of fin flexibility and body-fin/fin-fin interactions in fish’s undulatory swimming. New thrust enhancement mechanisms have been discovered for achieving efficient swimming in nature. The methods and resulted findings from this work are expected to bring new insights on the design of next generation bio-inspired autonomous underwater systems.

Dr. Haibo Dong is currently an associate professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia (UVA). Prior to his position at UVA, Dr. Dong was an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Wright State University. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA in United States. After completing his doctorate, he spent three years as a post-doctoral researcher at the George Washington University on an ONR MURI project. His current research involves computational fluid dynamics (CFD), fluid-structure interaction, low speed aero/hydrodynamics, flow visualization, flying and swimming, and biological fluid dynamics in nature. His research is currently supported by NSF, AFOSR, and ONR MURI.


Dong is the recipient of a number of national and society awards including the NSF CAREER award, the AIAA Foundation Abe Zarem Educator award, and the APS/DFD Gallery of Fluid Motion best video award etc. More information can be found from   


Lunch will be served starting at 11:30 am