Foti Awarded National Science Foundation Engineering Research Initiative

Funded project seeks to impact the wind energy industry, reduce costs

Dr. Daniel Foti, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, was recently awarded an Engineering Research Initiative (ERI) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) starting February 1.

Foti’s award for $198,766, entitled “Formation Mechanisms and Modeling of Wake Meandering in Wind Farms,” will advance fundamental insights into dominant instabilities in wind turbines, which have an adverse influence on the levelized cost of wind energy. The project proposes to (1) develop and evaluate wake meandering genesis mechanisms by quantifying the energy transfer between upwind coherent structures and wake meandering; and (2) develop wind farm models to capture disparate length scales of the wind turbine, wind farm, and atmospheric boundary layer. The project will have an impact on the wind energy industry and lead to improvements of the levelized cost of wind energy. Improvement in costs and increased energy produced by renewables such as wind are important for the reduction of greenhouse gases.

In addition to the proposed research, Foti’s award will build collaborations to (1) enhance STEM education and curricular development in partnership with the West TN STEM Hub to provide hands-on experiments with model wind turbines and fluid dynamics and (2) increase public STEM awareness and education through art and its intersection with turbulence in collaboration with Mr. David Horan in the Department of Art.

About the NSF ERI Program (from the NSF Website)

NSF investments in engineering research and education are critical building blocks for the nation's future economic growth and prosperity. Engineering breakthroughs have addressed national challenges, enriched our understanding of natural systems, fostered new technologies, fortified the nation's infrastructure, and introduced the exciting possibilities of engineering to the next generation. The Directorate for Engineering (ENG) supports the development of a diverse engineering workforce versed in the forefronts of engineering research and promotes the success of new academic investigators in their careers as researchers, educators, and innovators. The goal of the ERI program is to broaden the base of scientists and engineers in academia who dedicate their careers to advancing engineering research and education in societally important fields relevant to ENG.

For more information on the NSF ERI program, please contact the Division of Research and Innovation at  researchdev@memphis.edu. If you have questions or further interest in these STEM outreach opportunities, please contact Foti at dvfoti@memphis.edu.