The Michigan Engineer News Center

U-M Aerospace PhD student Alexander Coppeans awarded the 2020 MICDE Award

Congratulations to first-year PhD candidate Alex Coppean on being awarded the 2020-2021 Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering Fellowship for his work on mesh generation and mesh adaptation for airplane design.| Short Read
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IMAGE:  Portrait of Alexander Coppeans

Alex is part of the Computation Fluid Dynamics led by Professor Krzysztof Fidkwoski and the Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Lab led by Professor Joaquim Martins. His research focuses on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and its application to aircraft design and optimization. Specifically, he is interested in improving aerodynamic shape optimization by making the process more automated and improving lift and drag prediction through automatic CFD mesh generation and adaptation.

Currently, there is a bottleneck in creating computational meshes used in CFD. Alex hopes to eliminate this impediment by fully automating the meshing process

“Generating meshes for an aircraft can be really difficult because of the plane’s complex shape, requiring a ton of work from a human just to make it,” Alex said.

But if you can generate a mesh automatically, and have an algorithm adapt the mesh to get refinement where you need it, solutions can be found with much less human effort, and those solutions can be more accurate.”

Alex hopes by making drag and lift predictions more accurate before a plane is physically built will reduce fuel burn and in turn help the environment by reducing emissions while helping Aerospace companies save money.  

Alex is in his first year of his PhD in U-M Aerospace Engineering. He received his Bachelor’s of Science from U-M Aerospace Engineering in the Spring of 2020. 

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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

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