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AAE Prof Alexeenko receives NSF CAREER Award

February 7, 2011

Alina Alexeenko, assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics, has received a $400,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award to support the project she is directing titled, "CAREER: Quantifying and Exploiting Knudsen Thermal Forces in Nano/Microsystems." The award is effective immediately and expires Jan. 31, 2016.

Alexeenko’s theoretical and computational research is centered on developing and applying new models and algorithms to study rarefied gas-flow phenomena occurring in high-altitude flight, such as spacecraft contamination, plume interactions, high-altitude aerothermodynamics; and in emerging technologies such as micro-electro-mechanical systems for space communications and micropropulsion, and in vacuum manufacturing processes. Broadening applications of rarefied gas dynamics is among her long-term research goals.

Alexeenko's group at Purdue has developed fast computational algorithms and solvers for the deterministic, as opposed to the stochastic DSMC, solution of rarefied flow problems. Such new techniques are especially useful in studying low-speed and/or unsteady flows and have helped to address several challenging problems, such as the aerodynamic damping in MEMS and shockwave propagation at microscale.

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