George W. Pearsall Distinguished Lectures

George W. Pearsall is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and before he retired in 2001 he also was Professor of Public Policy Studies, at Duke University. Since 2011, he has also been Adjunct Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He earned a Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering (B.Met.E.) degree from RPI and then joined the Dow Chemical Company as a research engineer. He later received a Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was on the MIT faculty for four years before coming to Duke in 1964. He served twice as Dean of Duke's School of Engineering.

Dr. Pearsall is a founding trustee of the Triangle Universities Center for Advanced Studies, Inc. (TUCASI), which facilitated the location of the National Humanities Center, the Microelectron¬ics Center of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in the Research Triangle Park. He helped initiate Duke's Program in Science, Technology, and Human Values, and he was the first director of an experimental program at Duke in Technology and the Liberal Arts. His research and consulting are concerned primarily with integrating failure analysis and risk assessment into the design process. In 2001, he was awarded the Triodyne Safety Award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for his contributions to safe design practices.

Past George W. Pearsall Distinguished Lectures

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 12:00pm | FCIEMAS Schiciano Auditorium Side B
Professor Alexander J. Smits, Princeton University

Alexander J. Smits is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton, as well as a Professorial Fellow at Monash University in Australia.  His research interests are centered on fundamental, experimental research in turbulence and fluid mechanics. In 2004, Dr. Smits received the Fluid Dynamics Award of the AIAA. In 2007, Dr. Smits received the Fluids Engineering Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Pendray Aerospace Literature Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching from Princeton University. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society, and he is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Abstract

Logarithmic scaling is one of the corner stones of our understanding of wall-bounded turbulent flows. In 1938, Clark B. Millikan advanced an overlap argument that framed the logarithmic variation of the mean velocity in simple dimensional terms. Seventy-five years later, however, basic aspects of this logarithmic region, such as its slope (described by von Karman’s constant), and its spatial extent, are still being debated. In addition, Townsend in 1976 proposed a logarithmic scaling for the streamwise and spanwise components of turbulence based on the attached eddy hypothesis, but to date the experimental verification has been elusive. Here, we use pipe flow measurements over a very large Reynolds number range to examine these expectations of logarithmic scaling, and show that pipe flows at sufficiently high Reynolds number reveal both expected and unexpected implications for our understanding and our capacity to model turbulence.

Friday, March 22, 2013 - 12:00pm | Fitzpatrick Center Schiciano Auditorium Side B
Gang Chen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Gang Chen is currently the Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from UC Berkeley in 1993 working under then Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien. He was a faculty member at Duke University (1993-1997), University of California at Los Angeles (1997-2001), before joining MIT in 2001. He is a recipient of the NSF Young Investigator Award, the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award, the R&D100 Award, and the MIT McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, a Guggenheim Fellow, an AAAS Fellow, an APS Fellow, and an ASME Fellow. He has published extensively in the area of nanoscale energy transport and conversion and nanoscale heat transfer. He is the director of Solid-State Solar-Thermal Energy Conversion Center funded by the US DOE’s Energy Frontier Research Centers program.

ABSTRACT: Understanding the transport of heat carriers at microscopic level leads to new ways to design better materials for thermal energy conversion and utilization. This talk will cover a few examples of extraordinary microscopic pictures of heat transport and show how to apply the new understanding to improve macroscale heat transfer and energy conversion materials and devices. After a brief introduction on the connection between nano and energy, the talk will demonstrates via both experiments and simulations that phonon mean free path in solids spans several orders of magnitude. This understanding is applied to engineer more efficient thermoelectric energy conversion materials and devices. In an opposite direction, the talk will discuss how to turn polymers from poor thermal conductors to highly thermally conductive materials. The talk will conclude by discussing theory and experimental results that show thermal radiation heat transfer at nanoscale can exceed the blackbody radiation by several orders of magnitude and the convergence of thermal radiation and heat conduction at nanoscale. Applications of these extraordinary heat transfer phenomena for energy applications will be discussed along the talk.