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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


  Ramachandra Kannan


  Engineering, St Catharine's College

  PhD thesis: Investigations on flow separation and unsteadiness due to Shock-Boundary Layer Interaction
  (working title)



Research interests:

  1. Experimental Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer
  2. High-speed Aerodynamics
  3. Shock Interactions
  4. flow transitions

High-speed air flows are generally associated with the occurrence of strong compression waves called shock waves. These shocks are responsible for directing the flow past the high-speed aircrafts, as well as meeting the pressure conditions. When this shock interacts with the low momentum fluid close to any wall surface (called as boundary layer), it imposes an adverse pressure gradient, thus resulting in a local reversal of flow in the region of interaction. This phenomenon is referred to as Shock-Boundary Layer Interaction (SBLI). The flow separation results in increased drag and flow field unsteadiness, imposing fluctuating loads on the system. SBLIs occur in high-speed engine intakes, aircraft control surfaces etc., where they can even result in catastrophic system failure. My research aims to study the flow physics associated with the separation due to such SBLIs, including a detailed analysis on the associated unsteadiness using wind tunnel experiments.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your research interests?

Rockets have never failed to fascinate me since my childhood days. I, rather found that I am interested in the science of how they fly when I pursued my higher education. My interest narrowed down to the area of fluid mechanics and specifically to compressible flows and heat transfer through a number of hands-on and research experiences in my undergraduate and master’s studies. I look forward to be an experimentalist, who continues to look at various aspects of nature and tries to understand it to the finest extent possible, and develop systems that would benefit the society around.