Department of Mechanical and Enviromental Engineering
Research DescriptionProfessor Homsy's research interests are in fluid mechanics and transport, and in particular in interfacial flows, polymer and viscoelastic fluid mechanics, porous media flows, and microgravity fluid mechanics. His group uses a combination of analytical theory, large scale numerical simulation, and experimental studies in order to understand these flows from a fundamental point of view.
Interfacial fluid mechanics is of fundamental interest in flow through porous media, boiling and heat transfer in MEMS devices, manipulation of dispersed phases in microchannels, and in microgravity applications. Homsy and his students are currently studying (i) Thermocapillary migration of drops and bubbles in microchannels, (ii) Frontal instabilities in porous media flows with active chemistry, (iii) Ultra thin film coating over topography, and (iv) Boiling and bubbles in microchannels.
Polymer fluid mechanics is distinguished by the need to consider additional stresses set up in the fluid as a result of an anisotropic state of stretch of macromolecules. This work involves using polymer constitutive equations to study and understand technologically important flows, including (i) High Reynolds number polymer flows and drag reduction, and (ii) Viscoelastic coating flows.
Professor Homsy's interests in microgravity fluid mechanics relate to problems associated with the special environment of the Space Shuttle and the planned International Space Station. Current work is focused on flows driven by time-dependent body forces, so-called "g-jitter", including g-Jitter convection in channels, and stochastic resonance driven by g-jitter.
Transport in drops and bubbles is often diffusion limited, and therefore slow. Professor Homsy is interested in ways of significantly increasing the transport rates by driving chaotic flows within drops. His group is currently studying the use of modulated (AC) fields, which produce time-dependent electrical stresses, to achieve this goal.
BiographyG. M. "Bud" Homsy was born and raised in Fresno, CA. He obtained all his degrees in Chemical Engineering. After a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship at Imperial College, London, he joined the Chemical Engineering faculty at Stanford University in Fall, 1970, where he taught before joining the faculty of Mechanical and Environmental Engineering at UC Santa Barbara in 2001. His field of research is fluid mechanics and hydrodynamic stability and has authored over 150 papers. He has held many professional positions, including Vice-Chair and Chair of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, two terms as Department Chair at Stanford, Chairman of the Board of USRA, and Associate Editorships of SIAM J. Applied Math and Physics of Fluids. He is a Fellow of the APS, a Bing Fellow at Stanford University, and has been the Talbot Lecturer at UIUC, and the Batchelor Visitor at DAMTP, Cambridge. He received the Fluid Dynamics Prize of the APS in 2004 and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006. He was the Principal Investigator for the production of "Multimedia Fluid Mechanics", Cambridge, (2001).