- Mechanical Engineering
Top 3 Areas of Expertise:
Expected date of graduation:
Harbor seals are able to follow the wake of a fish up to 30 seconds after it has passed. They can do so while blindfolded and wearing earmuffs, leaving their vibrissae (whiskers) as the sensory system most likely responsible for this tracking ability. The key to this sensing appears to lie in the vibrational response of the whiskers under different flow conditions.
In this thesis, the vibrations of model seal whiskers are measured in the lab under free vibration and forced vibration conditions. The unique shape of the seal whisker is found to passively reduce vortex-induced vibrations that would normally develop as a bluff body moves in a flow. This feature is incorporated into a new underwater sensor design that detects hydrodynamic wakes.
Top 5 Awards and honors (name of award, date received):
5 Recent Papers:
Beem, H., Hildner, M., Triantafyllou, M., 2013, "Calibration and validation of a harbor seal whisker-inspired flow sensor," Smart Materials and Structures, 22 014012. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00348-011-1241-9
Beem, H.R., Rival, D.E., Triantafyllou, M.S. 2012, "On the stabilization of leading-edge vortices in spanwise flow," Experiments in Fluids, 52: 511-517. http://iopscience.iop.org/0964-1726/22/1/014012