A passion for fluid mechanics - By : Substance,

A passion for fluid mechanics

aircraft turbine engine

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It was no doubt Marlène Sanjosé’s fascination with rivers that drove her to pursue a career in engineering. She focused on hydraulics and fluid mechanics and obtained her engineering degree from the ENSEEIHT (INP Toulouse), in France. She went on to get a Master’s from the INPT in the field of fluid dynamics, energy and transfer. As part of her doctoral studies at CERFACS, she explored numerical methods in thermofluids. She came to Québec in 2009 for postdoctoral studies at the Université de Sherbrooke, and ultimately moved here permanently, seduced by the study of the noise generated by rotating machines. (And quite likely, by the crunchy sound of snow beneath winter boots!) In September 2019, she joined the ÉTS team as a research professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. 

Although she now focuses her attention on flow that is far removed from that of rivers, her interest is undiminished. “I’ve always been captivated by the motion of water—by waves and eddies,” she explains. “I am excited by these movements, which are present in numerous engineering applications. These days, I study them on a completely different scale, in great detail and using numerical simulation. My aim is to develop models with which to design rotating machines (fans, compressors, jet turbine engines) that are more efficient, more versatile, and less noisy!” 

An expert in the field of fluid dynamics, Professor Sanjosé focuses her research work on mechanical engineering applications. She uses numerical simulation to study complex flow phenomena in engineering applications in order to improve and perfect systems control, particularly in the automotive and aeronautics industries, and industrial processes. Her studies encompass internal and external aerodynamics, combustion, heat transfers, aeroacoustics, mixing and transfer between phases.

Numerical simulation in fluid mechanics

Marlène Sanjosé, professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at ÉTS

Marlène Sanjosé, professor at ÉTS

She was quick to integrate numerical tools into her research work, using simulation for modeling non-stationary flow phenomena in complex engineering configurations. Her research aims to optimize the energy used by industrial processes and new modes of transportation, by using simulation and numerical analysis in the field of thermofluids. High-performance computing makes it possible to identify the coherent structures that cause instability in these systems. A better understanding of a system’s response then makes it possible to improve the control and efficiency of that system. 

Aerodynamics and aeroacoustics of turbomachines

While attending the Université de Sherbrooke, Marlène Sanjosé was interested in the field of aeroacoustics. Her research work dealt with the development of tools for quickly estimating the noise generated by axial turbomachines. This type of tool relies on analytical models and on a knowledge of the mean flow values obtained by numerical simulation. It makes it possible to determine the contribution of a turbomachine’s different stages as well as the root causes of aerodynamic noise, and to do this early on in the machine’s design phase. 

Having applied for funding on a number of projects, the young professor will soon be looking for students who are interested in not only fluid mechanics, but numerical tools as well, as her approach is based on computer-aided techniques. A word to any interested parties!

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