Jeffrey Thomas and Earl Dowell Receive Best Paper Award

3/25 Pratt School of Engineering

The two have been recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for their work on aeroelastic computation.

Headshots of Jeff Thomas and Earl Dowell
Jeffrey Thomas and Earl Dowell Receive Best Paper Award

Research Assistant Professor Jeffrey P. Thomas and William Holland Hall Distinguished Professor Earl H. Dowell received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerospace Design and Structures’ Best Paper Award in January 2024 for their 2023 AIAA SciTech Forum conference paper, “Using Broyden’s Method to Improve the Computational Performance of a Harmonic Balance Aeroelastic Solution Technique.”

Watch the video of their presentation.

Dowell heads the Aeroelasticity Group in Duke’s Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials & Science, which is actively developing novel computational methods for modeling the coupled aerodynamic and structural, i.e., aeroelastic, response of aerospace vehicles.

blue tone jet engine blades closeup
A turbine fan. Duke research found that using Broyden’s Method improved the computational performance of existing aeroelastic solutions.

A primary concern in aeroelasticity is flutter, a flight condition in which the structure of an aerospace vehicle begins to vibrate. The vehicle could be damaged or ultimately destroyed if the vibration level becomes too large.

One of the primary objectives of the computational methods for aeroelastic flutter that the group is developing is reducing the computational time required for such flutter predictions.

For the research presented in their paper, Thomas and Dowell demonstrate that the classic numerical approximation technique commonly referred to as “Broyden’s Method” can significantly reduce the time required to compute aeroelastic solutions by more than an order of magnitude in some instances.

CITATION: “Using Broyden’s Method to Improve the Computational Performance of a Harmonic Balance Aeroelastic Solution Technique,” Jeffrey Thomas and Earl H. Dowell. AIAA 2023-2221 Session: Topics in Structural Dynamics III. January 19, 2023 DOI: 10.2514/6.2023-2221

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