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Fluid Mechanics Expert to Join Faculty This Fall

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (06/28/21) - The Department of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics (AEM) is honored to welcome Melissa Green as the newest addition to our fluid mechanics faculty. She will officially join the University of Minnesota team as an associate professor at the start of the Fall 2021 semester.

Green’s research focuses on lift generated by flapping wings, thrust generated by oscillating fins, drag generated by struts and cables, moments generated by a gust hitting an aircraft wing. In all of these scenarios, the interaction of fluid (air, water) with the surface generates coherent structures or motions in the fluid, often in the form of vorticity or distinct vortices. These in turn are often associated with pressure and forces on the surface. Depending on the application, these interactions are desired and need to be augmented. In others, they need to be mitigated. Fundamental investigation and visualization of how these interactions play out is key to predicting future forces or moments, and to designing appropriate geometries, motion profiles, or control systems to detect and direct the flow field evolution on-the-fly.

“Professor Green brings a proven record of research and teaching excellence to AEM.  She is a recognized leader in developing experimental and numerical methods to track fluid flow using the Lagrangian point of view, which aims to track fluid particles as they move through a flow.  She has used these methods to study “swimmers,” but they will work equally well for studying drones and robots or environmental flows.” Stated Department Head Perry Leo. “Dr. Green has a strong presence in in the aerospace community, including leadership positions in AIAA, and will add to AEM’s visibility.  She is also an established teacher and mentor with a strong record of supervising graduate students and working with undergraduate research teams.”

Green is thrilled for the opportunity to work alongside fantastic colleagues in the AEM department and at St. Anthony’s Fall Laboratory. In addition to co-teaching Aeromechanics Laboratory (AEM 4602W) and researching bio-inspired and environmental flows, she plans to build a research group that combines experimental fluid dynamics (water tunnels, wind tunnels) and comprehensive data analysis to study problems of fluid-structure interaction.

“I am looking forward to the collaborative environment with a group of world-class researchers in impressive experimental facilities. This university and this department in particular has a great reputation for technical excellence and camaraderie, I am so honored to get to be a part of it.” – Associate Professor Melissa Green 

Green is currently associate professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University in New York.

She has published numerous articles on fluid mechanics, or more specifically vortex-dominated fluids with applications in bio-inspired propulsion and unsteady aerodynamics. Her recent publications have been on three-dimensional unsteady vortex-dominated flow fields that are generated by models of flapping fish fins and insect wings, and studying how the flow structure that evolves from that fluid-structure interaction is related to the amount of lift or thrust that these creatures are able to create for their own locomotion. She has also experimented with using extended reality (XR) for data visualization, and has a recent publication on the process of exploring 3D experimental data using a virtual reality headset.

Green is a two-time recipient of the Filtertech Pi Tau Sigma, and Sigma Gamma Tau Award for Excellence in Education in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Syracuse University (2020, 2015). She also received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Engineering Education from Syracuse University (2016). She is an Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2019) and received the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award (2014).

Prior to Syracuse, she worked as a NAS/NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics for the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.

Despite preparations to move to the snowy Midwest, Green maintains a positive outlook. “I am moving to the Twin Cities from Syracuse, NY, one of the top places in the country for snow, so I am not new to harsh winters. I do understand, though, that I'll probably have to buy a new winter coat.”