Student working on a research project.

Wedge Drop Experimental Setup

Fluid-structure interaction is a complex phenomenon that occurs in a situations ranging from blood flow in the human body to the response of an aircraft wing during flight. In order for it to be effectively simulated in a computational framework, experimental testing is required in order to serve as a baseline validation. The wedge drop test into water is a simple and effective scenario that has direct application to water impact problems such as ship slamming and aircraft ditching. The project aims to develop an experimental test setup for the wedge drop problem that allows for multiple wedge geometries, impact angles, and impact velocities while monitoring the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the drop. The project will also include running a battery of tests to characterize the wedge drop.

Student researchers will work closely with a post-doc that has experience in fluid-structure interaction and computational analysis. The post-doc will be providing direction and support to the undergraduate students to ensure the project’s success. This is an opportunity for students to gain hands on design experience developing an experimental setup used for research purposes. Based on their performance/contributions they may be included in publications resulting from the work.

The students (ideally 2) will be responsible for the design and manufacture of basic structural components as well as mechanical linkages to construct the test setup. The majority of the manufacturing is expected to be done using stock parts, though additive manufacturing and CNC technologies and a possibility. Students will have access to the Lab 3D printer for manufacture of basic components if necessary. The student will also be responsible for implementing/programming micro controllers and interfacing them with sensors (accelerometers, load cells, pressure sensors). It is expected that the mechatronics and design specialists will be working together closely to result in a final cohesive setup.

Experience with CAD software and understanding of the basics of programming is required (experience with C or Arduino preferred but not required). Experience with microcontrollers is desired but not required.

Research Project Information

Student Skill-Set Needed: Ability to work in a team is paramount, Able to conduct research/learn independently, Strong writing skills (semi regular report and presentation will be required)
Compensation: Academic Credit, Volunteer
Available: Fall, Spring


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Javid Bayandor
Title: Associate Professor
Department: Mechanical And Aerospace Engineering