Seminars are held Wednesdays, at 3:30 pm, in Seaver Science Library, Room 150 (SSL 150), unless otherwise noted. Refreshments are served at 3:00 pm. Call (213) 740-8762 for further information.

Archive of Past Seminars:

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Keynote Lecture Series Archive

Fall, 2017

Human Health in Long Duration Spaceflight

Allison Anderson

Assistant Professor
Ann and H.J. Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO

Human spaceflight has led to some of the most inspirational achievements of the space program, such as walking on the surface of the Moon or repair of the Hubble space telescope, but not without cost to the astronauts performing these feats. The human body is well adapted to its 1G environment on Earth, but experiences physiologic adaptation when living and working in micro- and hypo-gravity. My research develops technologies to measure and improve human health in space. I will discuss ocular changes astronauts experience in long-duration spaceflight, the cause of which is currently unknown. We are developing non-invasive measures of intracranial pressure and exploring the use of artificial gravity to mitigate these changes. I will also discuss mental health in isolated, confined environments. We have used computer-based training and treatment, including virtual reality, to improve behavioral health outcomes in the Arctic and HI-SEAS Mars simulations. Finally, I will discuss injuries that occur while working and training inside the spacesuit and in-suit sensing systems we built to measure and mitigate performance decrement during extravehicular activity. This research is used not only to improve the health of astronauts, but also to improve health for patients on Earth, soldiers, athletes, and people living and working in extreme environments.

Allison Anderson graduated with a B.S. in Astronautics Engineering from USC in 2007 with a minor in Astronomy. She was involved in the AeroDesign team, the LeapFrog team, the Viterbi Student Ambassadors, and Spirits in Action while at USC. She received an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an M.S. in Technology Policy in 2011 from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Biomedical Engineering in 2014 from MIT. She received a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute to work at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center studying human space physiology. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado – Boulder Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
3:30 PM
Seaver Science Library, Room 150 (SSL 150)

Refreshments will be served at 3:15 pm.

Wall Turbulence Structure in the Atmospheric Surface Layer. Scaling and Implications on Wind Turbine Siting

Michele Guala

Associate Professor
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
Dept. of Civil, Environmental and Geo Engineering
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN

The atmospheric surface layer, under special geophysical conditions, has been used as a canonical representation of wall turbulence flows at high Reynolds numbers. In this presentation I will describe how hotwire field measurements in the SLTEST (Utah) and Super-large-scale particle image velocimetry (SPIV, Hong et al., 2014, Toloui et al. 2014) during natural snowfalls in Minnesota, gave us the opportunity to explore atmospheric flows with unprecedentedly high spatio-temporal resolution. Results from SPIV measurements in the thermally neutral atmospheric surface layer, collected at the EOLOS field station over relatively flat, snow-covered farmland, will be introduced as a fully rough wall boundary layer with a Reynolds number Re τ ~ 106. The data include three time-resolved 15-minute acquisition periods with a field of view extending from 3 m to 19 m above the ground and up to 14 m wide. The flow statistics are validated and supplemented by sonic anemometers from a meteorological tower immediately downstream of the SPIV field of view. The time-resolved planar measurements provide temporal and spatial characterization of key wall turbulence features at high Reynolds number, including ramp-like structures, spanwise vortices, and uniform momentum zones. In comparing the findings to laboratory studies, Reynolds number similarity and the scaling behavior of characteristic properties will be discussed. The limitations of SPIV measurements will be presented using concepts of particle-turbulence interaction and further observations of snow flake dynamics. The impact of large scale flow measurements and turbulent motions will be discussed in the context of wind energy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
3:30 PM
Seaver Science Library, Room 150 (SSL 150)

Refreshments will be served at 3:15 pm.

Coupled Flow and Geomechanics of Petroleum Reservoirs, Aquifers, and Faults

Birendra Jha

Assistant Professor of Petroleum Engineering
Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Los Angeles, CA

Can we inject and produce fluids out of subsurface reservoirs without causing damaging earthquakes? Can we design and control hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” of rocks to maximize productivity but minimize risks? Will underground sequestration of CO2 lead to induced seismicity and eventually CO2 leakage along faults? Did Indian monsoon rainfall have something to do with the Nepal earthquake? These are some of the questions facing the petroleum industry, geothermal industry, environmental scientists, and the geoscience community-at-large. One way to approach these questions, and the approach that we follow, is physics-based modeling of the underlying processes of fluid flow, rock deformation, and faulting or fracturing. We specialize in computational modeling and simulation of continuum scale coupled flow, transport and geomechanical processes. We develop mathematically rigorous and computationally efficient numerical frameworks and conduct lab experiments to understand, forecast and eventually control these processes in nature. I will present some of the salient features of our computational framework that includes a finite element–finite volume method to solve the flow and deformation problems sequentially. Then I will show results from a few studies that attempt to answer the questions posed in the beginning.

Birendra Jha is an Assistant Professor of Petroleum Engineering in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at USC. He received his masters in Petroleum Engineering from Stanford University and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT. He has several years of experience in the petroleum industry in India and US. In the Geosystems Engineering and Multiphysics Lab ( at USC, Birendra’s group conducts research in computational and experimental geomechanics funded by the Department of Energy and the Rose Hills Foundation.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
3:30 PM
Seaver Science Library, Room 150 (SSL 150)

Refreshments will be served at 3:15 pm.