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Prof. David B. Goldstein received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of Princeton University in 1984.  He obtained a M.S. and Ph.D. from the Aeronautics Department of the California Institute of Technology in 1985 and 1990, respectively. His graduate research involved simulation of non-equilibrium supersonic flows on massively parallel computers with the direct simulation Monte Carlo and discrete-velocity molecular models. During 1990 he served as a Research Fellow at Caltech, working with Prof. Brad Sturtevant. From Sept. 1990 to Sept. 1992.  Dr. Goldstein served as a Research Associate at the Center for Fluid Mechanics at Brown University and developed a method for modeling solid surfaces in an unsteady flow.  He investigated turbulent channel flow with spectral method simulations using this model. During this time he also expanded a model of discrete-velocity molecular dynamics to include discrete-energy collision dynamics of polyatomic molecules. For the remainder of 1992 Dr. Goldstein was a Visiting Researcher at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Advanced Technology Research Center in Yokohama. There he worked on moving boundary problems related to flow induced structural oscillation. In 1993 Dr. Goldstein was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin. In 1998 he was promoted to Associate Professor effective September 1999. In 2004 he was promoted to Professor effective September 2005. His teaching involves undergraduate and graduate classes in fluid mechanics. His research interests continue to be centered on the fundamental physics of high speed and non-equilibrium flows and the direct numerical simulation of turbulent flows in complex geometries. Particular aspects involve developing efficient models for extending rarefied flow simulations far into the continuum flow regime, investigating the physics of a discrete-velocity gas and modeling the supersonic atmospheric flow and radiation on several planets and moons. In addition, he is interested in drag reduction techniques in turbulent boundary layers through surface modifications (i.e., riblets, bubbles or microjets) and the use of force fields in spectral method techniques to model solid surfaces. Dr. Goldstein is doing experiments in the water tunnel and has worked in the Mach 5 facility and the 5´ x 7´ low speed wind tunnel at PRC.  In 1999-2000 Dr. Goldstein led an interdisciplinary team searching for water in permanently shadowed craters on the Moon and is continuing in such work as a member of NASA’S LCROSS Science Team.

Prof. Philip L. Varghese received a Bachelor of Technology from IIT Madras in 1976, an MS from Syracuse University in 1977 and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1983. His research interests are at the intersection of physics, chemistry and engineering. He works on the computation of rarefied and non-equilibrium flows using Monte Carlo simulation and direct numerical solution of the Boltzmann equation. He also develops and applies laser based measurement techniques with a wide variety of applications. In 1993 he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar and worked at ONERA in France to apply laser diagnostics in hypersonic wind tunnels. He serves as the Director of the Center for Aeromechanics Research, and is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the University of Texas, Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Fellow of the European Conference for Aero-Space Sciences (EUCASS). Together with Prof. Goldstein he has a very active program in planetary scale simulations of rarefied flows. He is also co-inventor on two patents for novel Raman instrumentation.

Dr. Laurence M. Trafton received a Bachelor of Science at the California Institute of Technology in 1960, after majoring in Astronomy. He obtained a M.S. in Astronomy and a Ph. D. in Astronomy with a minor in Physics from the Astronomy Department at the California Institute of Technology in 1961 and 1965, respectively. His graduate research centered on the unknown source of greenhouse heating in the atmospheres of the outer planets. Between 1965 and 1968, he served as a Project Officer in the USAF as a 1st Lt. at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, N.M. He was in charge of the development of an earth-orbiting satellite to measure the hazard that solar flare radiation posed to a military astronaut. This work was continued through mid-1969 as a civil servant (GS-13) upon completion of active duty in the Air Force. Since 1969, he has been with the McDonald Observatory and Astronomy Department at the University of Texas at Austin, first as a Special Research Associate until 1972, then as a Research Scientist to 1993, then as Senior Research Scientist to the present. In recent years, he has been collaborating in the area of planetary science with the research group of Drs. Goldstein and Varghese at the Center for Aeromechanics Research.

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Current Postdocs

Current Ph.D. Students

Current Masters Students

Researching Simulations of Atmospheric Escape from Pluto

Researching discrete velocity methods for solving the Boltzmann equation.

PhD Alumni

Engblom, William, PhD, “Numerical Investigation of Hypersonic Flow Over a Forward-Facing Cavity,” Summer 1996.

Roveda, Roberto,  PhD, “A Combined Discrete Velocity/Particle Based Numerical Approach for Continuum/Rarefied Flows,” Summer 2000.

Silton, Sidra, PhD, “Ablation Onset in Unsteady Hypersonic Flow About Nose-Tips with A Forward-Facing Cavity,” Spring 2001.

Zhang, Ju, PhD, “Simulation of Gas Dynamics, Radiation, and Particulates in Volcanic Plumes on Io,” Spring 2004.

Lee, Conrad, Y., PhD, “Direct Numerical Simulation of Microjets for Turbulent Boundary Layer Control,” Summer 2004.

Stewart, Benedicte, PhD,  “ Numerical Simulations of the Flow Produced by a Comet Impact on the Moon and its Effects on Ice Deposition in Cold Traps,” Spring, 2010.

Moore, Chris H. PhD,  “Monte Carlo simulation of the Jovian plasma interaction with Io’s atmosphere and the resultant aurora during eclipse’’ Summer, 2011.

Stephani, Kelly, PhD, “Development of a Hybrid DSMC/CFD Method for Hypersonic Boundary Layer Flow Over Discrete Surface Roughness’’, Spring 2012.

Walker, Andrew, PhD, “ A Comprehensive Numerical Model of Io’s Chemically-Reacting Sublimation-Driven Atmosphere and its Interaction with the Jovian Plasma Torus”, Spring, 2012.

Strand, James, PhD, “Sensitivity Analysis and Calibration of DSMC Input Parameters,” Spring, 2012.

Morris, Aaron, PhD, “Simulation of Rocket Plume Impingement and Dust Dispersal on the Lunar Surface”, Fall 2012.

M.S. Alumni

Silton, Sidra, MS, “A Combined Numerical and Experimental Investigation of a Forward-Facing Cavity for the Reduction of Nose Tip Ablation of a Hypersonic Projectile,” Fall 1997

Young, David, MS, “A Computational Study of Unsteady Hypersonic Segmented Projectile Aerodynamics,” Fall 1999

Shim, Jeong Yeon, MS, “The Numerical Study of the Temporal Evolution of the Lunar Exosphere,” Summer 2001

Larignon, Benedicte, MS, “Numerical Simulations of the Compressible Flow between Concentric Cylinders using an External Force Field in a Pseudo-spectral Code,” Spring 2004.

Colmenero, Gerardo, MS, “Turbulent Boundary Layer Control with Discrete Actuators Using Wall Information,” Fall 2004.

Marr, Kevin, MS, “Drag Reduction on a Flat Plate by Trapping Bubbles on the Surface,” Summer, 2005

Stephani, Kelly, MS, “Drag Reduction Using Trapped Bubbles on a Submerged Flat Plate Surface,” Fall 2006

Strand, James, MS, “DNS of Surface Textures to Control the Growth of Turbulent Spots,” Fall 2007

Morris, Aaron, MS,  “Investigation of a Discrete Velocity Monte Carlo Boltzmann Equation”, Spring 2009

Doolittle, Charles, MS, “Near-field flow structures and transient growth due to subcritical surface roughness,” Spring, 2010.

Hegermiller, David, MS,  “A New Method to Incorporate Internal Energy in the Context of a Discrete Velocity Monte Carlo Boltzmann Equation Solver’’ Summer, 2011.

Drews, Scott, MS, “Direct Numerical Simulations of Flow Past Quasi-Random Distributes Roughness,” Spring, 2012.

Recent Undergraduate Researchers

Newman, Clark, paid Undergraduate Research Assistant, modeling free molecular gas flow on the Moon, 2005.

Jackson, Matthew, paid Undergraduate Research Assistant, simulations of turbulent boundary layers, 2005-2006.

McCarty, Travis, paid Undergraduate Research Assistant, commercialization of bubble coatings, 2005-2006.

Albright, Javan M., paid Undergraduate Research Assistant, simulations of turbulent boundary layers, 2006-2007.

Summy, Dustin, paid Undergraduate Research Assistant, simulations of lunar impacts,  2008-10

Hanna, Ben, paid Undergraduate Research Assistant, “Simulations of plumes on Enceladus,” 2008-9

Kizer, Justin, paid Undergraduate Research Assistant, “Simulations of plumes on Enceladus,” 2009

Chapman, Todd, paid Undergraduate Research Assistant, “Simulations of plumes on Enceladus,” 2010-2011

Asturias, Daniel, paid Undergraduate Research Assistant, “Simulations of LCROSS impact on the Moon,” 2011-

Kalb, Michael, paid Undergraduate Research Assistant, “Simulations of sputtered atmosphere  on Europa,” 2010

Ellis, Josh, HS student RA, “Simulations of LADEE plume impacts on the Moon,’’ Summer 2011

Knerr, Nathan, paid Undergraduate Research Assistant, “Simulations of plume impingement on the Moon,” 2012