Schematic of fog life-cylce

SAFL Director involved in new $7.5M DoD MURI project

Lian Shen, SAFL Director and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, is part of a PI group recently selected for a $7.5 million U.S. Department of Defense MURI award. The MURI (Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative) competition is held annually by the U.S. Department of Defense to encourage interdisciplinary research among and between institutions to address emerging national defense and societal concerns. In 2021, the program awarded $179 million to 25 teams that represent 57 different academic institutions nationwide.

Shen is one of five PIs on the project, titled "Fatima: Fog and turbulence interactions in the marine atmosphere." Led by Dr. Harindra Fernando at the University of Notre Dame and including other PIs from the Naval Postgraduate School, the University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the University of Utah, the project will attempt to advance fundamental knowledge about fog, particularly in marine settings. Fog is one of the more poorly studied phenomena in meteorology, although it has immediate implications for communications, transportation, and ecosystems. The five year project will not only investigate the fog life-cycle, but will also look to develop better prediction and detection capabilities. Shen's research contribution will include using theoretical and computational research to understand turbulence aerosol-interaction in marine fog applications, in collaboration with field experiments in the North Atlantic, Yellow Sea, and the Arctic. 

"I really enjoy being part of these larger collaborations that work across institutions," says Shen. "The varied perspectives and expertise help us approach complex phenomena like marine fog from different angles, and our individual universities have unique resources that contribute to a greater research capability than if it was simply one institution represented alone. I'm excited for this team and the research."