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A Distributed and Distance Learning Course “Fluid Flows in Nature”

[+] Author Affiliations
Joseph A. Schetz

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. IMECE2010-37220, pp. 31-34; 4 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2010-37220
From:
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Engineering Education and Professional Development
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4443-4
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME

abstract

This course was originally designed and conventionally taught to build upon and broaden a basic, traditional engineering knowledge of fluid flows into new and stimulating areas concerning a wide variety of natural occurrences and phenomena that involve fluid motions in important ways. Topics covered include: continuity and consequences in nature, drag of sessile systems and motile animals; gliding and soaring; flying and swimming; internal flows in organisms; low Reynolds number flows; fluid-fluid interfaces and stratified flows; unsteady flows in nature; atmospheric flows and wind engineering; and environmental fluid mechanics. The course is intended for upper-level students in engineering and science and presumes a background in the fundamentals of fluid flows at the level of a first engineering course in fluid mechanics. It proved popular with students majoring in mechanical, civil, aerospace and ocean engineering with occasional students from mathematics and sciences for a typical enrollment of 80–100 students. An unexpected, but welcome and powerful, benefit occurs in the form of reinforcing and deepening student understanding of traditional topics in engineering fluid mechanics by contrast with the often very different situations encountered in nature. An OnLine version of the course was introduced for the Spring Semester of 2006. Enrollment promptly and steadily increased to the point where 230 students registered in the Spring Semester of 2010. It is felt that a course of this type where conventional instructional materials do not exist is particularly suited to the OnLine format.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Fluid dynamics

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