Nebraska Engineering's Park earns NSF EPSCoR fellowship

August 21, 2018

Park receives NSF fellowship to develop turbulence expertise at Nebraska

Nebraska Engineering’s Jae Sung Park earned a $177,433 fellowship opportunity over two years from the National Science Foundation (NSF), to collaborate with a leader studying turbulence in the field of fluid mechanics.

Park, an assistant professor with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Mechanical & Materials Engineering (MME) Department, will work with Dr. Ellen Longmire at the University of Minnesota (UMN), a leading Big10 program in this research. Park’s computational and mathematical approach to predict turbulent dynamics between ordered flow structures will augment state-of-art interdisciplinary research facilities at UMN, including cutting-edge experimental tools such as flying Particle Image Velocimetry.

Park and Longmire’s collaboration aims to transform turbulence research with experiments that test and validate predictive models of turbulent flows, generating and evaluating control algorithms for drag reduction.

Knowledge gained at UMN will help improve and develop experimental facilities for the UNL College of Engineering’s fluid mechanics group, Park said, to advance long-term goals for predictive modeling and provide broad benefit for Nebraska and the nation.

"Pairing Jae Sung's computational skills with Professor Longmire's extensive experimental capabilities is a great way to tackle big problems in engineering," said Jeff Shield, UNL MME department chair. "Their combined expertise should provide significantly more understanding of turbulent flows, which would have a huge impact on energy consumption in many transportation systems." 

Currently, “turbulent drag on commercial airliners accounts for up to 50 percent of these flights’ fuel consumption, and in ocean shipping, a reduction by 30 percent for vessels’ skin-friction drag could save up to approximately $40 billion dollars per year,” Park added. “Turbulent flow control is a pivotal step to reduce drag in turbulent flows for substantial energy savings.”

The National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) encourages eligible states to pursue funding for Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-4 provides opportunities for non-tenured investigators to further develop their individual research potential through extended collaborative visits to the nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers. During these visits, the EPSCoR Research Fellows will be able to learn new techniques, develop new collaborations or advance existing partnerships, benefit from access to unique equipment and facilities, and/or shift their research toward potentially transformative new directions.

The experiences gained through the fellowships are intended to have lasting impacts that will enhance the Fellows’ research trajectories well beyond the award period. These benefits to the Fellows are also expected to in turn improve the research capacity of their institutions and jurisdictions more broadly.

Below, Jae Sung Park meets with students on his research team at Nebraska.

Jae Sung Park, assistant professor with UNL's Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering, meets with students on his research team. Park earned a 2018 EPSCoR Research Fellow (Track-4) Award from the National Science Foundation.