RE-TE-G Outreach activities
RE-TE-G believes that transferring cutting edge knowledge from research to the general public is a critical task. Our group is actively involved in outreach activities, including K-12 education, science fairs, and workforce development. Some examples are described as follows:
Graduate student Nick Tobin and Prof. Chamorro participated in the ‘2nd annual K-12 teachers clean energy workshop’, National Sequestration Education Center, Richland Community College. Nick explained concepts related to wind farm (layout) design through innovative and customizable setup.
Figure 1: Graduate student Nick Tobin discussing with K-12 teachers about wind energy and turbulence using innovative setup.
RE-TE-G graduate students participated in the first MechSE G-BAM (Girls Building Awesome Machines) program at the G.A.M.E.S. Camp summer 2013 (Fig. 1). High school girls had the opportunities to build small wind turbines and learn from the RE-TE-G wind research facility. Operated by Women in Engineering (WIE) at UIUC, G.A.M.E.S. engages academically talented high-school-aged girls in exciting engineering and scientific activities, motivating them to pursue further education and careers in STEM.
(More info on G.A.M.E.S. Camp: publish.illinois.edu/womeninengineering/camps/g-a-m-e-s-camp/)
Figure 2: RE-TE-G graduate students (a) Nick Tobin and (b) Hyun Jin Kim giving technical advice on wind turbine designs at G.A.M.E.S camp.
This year, Prof. Chamorro actively collaborated with Prof. Denos at Uni-High School (Uni High) on educational activities related to renewable energy. Some of the activities included lectures at the school, visit to RE-TE-G lab and advising two Uni High teams fro the Clean Tech Competitionass, where one team advanced to the semi-final.
Figure 3: Uni-High students discussing with Prof. Chamorro in the office and RE-TE-G lab.
RE-TE-G recently initiated a research and education collaboration with Richland Community College in Decatur, IL. Richland offers Renewable Energy Training programs to the community members with facilities devoted to renewable wind energy, including utility scale 100 kW, 10 kW, and 1 kW wind turbines to power the campus. The collaboration between RE-TE-G and Richland is expected to bring a strong synergy. Activities underway include i) systematic and detailed measurements of the turbulent wind flow and ii) wind farm power output and dynamic loading under complex site topographies. Richland students enrolled in the program will have a first-person experience in complex site assessment. Hyun Jin Kim, a Clean Energy Education Fellow, is leading this initiative.
(More info on the Renewable Energy Training programs: www.richland.edu/node/1301)
RE-TE-G also participates in Engineering Open Houses, e.g., EOH-2014. It is a well-known program at the University of Illinois, which attracts about 20,000 people every year. Led by engineering students, this two-day event presents cutting edge science and technology exhibits and competitions designed by students, faculty, and corporate sponsors. In the EOH-2014, we showed a model MHK turbine operating in a tidal flume.
(More info on EOH: eoh.ec.illinois.edu/)
Video 1: RE-TE-G model MHK turbine operating in a tidal flume.
Our research group aims at providing fundamental insights on the role of turbulence in basic and applied problems of high interest, which can be divided in the following sub-areas:
i) structure of the boundary layer over complex topographies;
ii) wind & hydrokinetic energy technologies,
iii) scalar transport over urban and natural environments,
iv) flow-structure interaction; and
v) instrumentation for turbulence measurements.
We have developed a comprehensive research on these topics that are going to be sustained and expanded in the future. Our versatile experimental approach combines a set of state-of-the-art experimental techniques, including particle image velocimetry (PIV), computer vision, and our recently developed 3D particle tracking velocimetry (PTV). This framework allows us to study fluid dynamics from Eulerian and Lagrangian frame of references