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Kenneth C. Hall Wins 2018 AIAA Aerodynamics Award

Award honors novel contributions to the modeling of unsteady aerodynamic flows in turbomachinery and flight vehicles

Kenneth Hall

Kenneth C. Hall, the Julian Francis Abele Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University, has been named the recipient of the 2018 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Aerodynamics Award.

The award is presented for meritorious achievement in the field of applied aerodynamics, recognizing notable contributions in the development, application and evaluation of aerodynamic concepts and methods. Hall is being recognized for his “seminal contributions in the development of novel unsteady aerodynamic theories and analysis methods for internal and external flows.”

“I’m pleased and honored to receive this award,” said Hall. “I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have some great colleagues in the department to collaborate with, and I’ve had exceptional Duke students who have contributed significantly to my research.”

This summer, Hall will also be accepting the American Society of Mechanical Engineer’s Dedicated Service Award honoring unusual dedicated voluntary service marked by outstanding performance, demonstrated effective leadership, prolonged and committed service, devotion, enthusiasm and faithfulness.

Much of Hall’s career has focused on understanding and modeling the behavior of unsteady air flows in the fan, compressor and turbine stages of gas turbine engines used in aircraft and for power generation. The resulting unsteady aerodynamic forces can cause unwanted and damaging blade vibrations in these engines. The methods developed by Hall and his colleagues are useful both to understand the underlying physical mechanisms and to aid in the design of more efficient and powerful turbines.

Early in his career, Hall led the development of a new way to model such systems, working in the frequency domain rather than the time domain, allowing the governing fluid dynamic equations to be solved much more quickly and accurately. More recently, Hall has worked to develop models that incorporate the effects of multiple rows of turbine blades. These frequency domain approaches are now widely used in the turbomachinery industry and have been adapted by leading CFD software companies.

In addition to his work on unsteady aerodynamics, and with the help of his brother Steven Hall, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the pair have developed a method to compute the theoretical minimum power required for helicopter flight, which Hall has also extended to the study of the birds in flapping flight.

Hall will receive the AIAA Aerodynamics Award during the recognition luncheon at the 2018 AIAA Aviation Forum and Exposition (AVIATION 2018), on June 26 in Atlanta, Georgia.

For more than 80 years, AIAA has been the principal society of the aerospace engineer and scientist. The Institute continues to be the principal voice, information resource, and publisher for aerospace engineers, scientists, managers, policymakers, students, and educators. AIAA is also the go-to resource for stimulating professional accomplishment and standards-driven excellence in all areas of aerospace for prominent corporations and government organizations worldwide.