AE Distinguished Lecture Seminar - The McMahon Lecture

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"Vortical Flow Dynamics in Turbomachinery and Beyond"

Prof. Edward M. Greitzer - MIT

The centerpiece of this lecture will cover the concept of vorticity*, its application in giving insight into real world problems, and its power in developing ones physical intuition about fluid mechanics. Described are the physical principles that underpin the concept and illustrate its use in a number of different applications in fluid mechanics including aeroengine inlets, mixing in supersonic flow, and vortex breakdown in turbine blade passages. These are chosen to show both the connection between concepts and applications and the greatly enhanced capability obtained for interpreting computations and experiments.  The main message is that clear thinking about concepts can be an enormous asset in thinking about the complex flows that characterize the engineering of fluid devices.

*"The key to fluid dynamics”, A. H. Shercliff


Edward M. Greitzer is the H. N. Slater Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.  He received his A. B., S. M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Prior to joining MIT he was with the Pratt &Whitney Division of United Technologies Corporation (UTC), and more recently he was on leave from MIT at United Technologies Research Center as Director, Aeromechanical, Chemical, and Fluid Systems. He has been the Director of MIT’s Gas Turbine Laboratory and Deputy Head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. His research interests have spanned a range of topics that include gas turbines, turbomachinery,  active control of fluid systems, vortex flows, and university-industry collaboration. He was the MIT lead for the Cambridge-MIT Institute Silent Aircraft Initiative. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in the fields of internal flow, propulsion, and thermodynamics, as well as the department's undergraduate experimental project course. Dr. Greitzer is a three-time recipient of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Gas Turbine Award for outstanding gas turbine paper of the year, the ASME Freeman Scholar Award in Fluids Engineering, the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) Scholar Award, and publication awards from American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.  He received the Aircraft Engine Technology Award from the IGTI, the U. S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award, and the R. Tom Sawyer Award from ASME. He has been a visiting fellow at Cambridge University on three separate occasions, a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and the NASA Aeronautics Advisory Committee, and is an Honorary Professor at Beihang University. Dr. Greitzer authored approximately 80 papers and is lead author of the book Internal Flow: Concepts and Applications (Cambridge University Press, 2004). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of AIAA and ASME, and an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Glenda Duncan
  • Created: 02/01/2012
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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