Each year the Association of the VKI Alumni sponsors a number of Research Travel Grants for VKI PhD candidates, to allow them to spend a period from one week to several months in a foreign lab in Europe or in North America. The purpose is to allow them to learn new techniques, to collaborate with other researchers, and to bring back to the VKI new knowledge, as well as opening the way or reinforcing collaboration of the VKI with other research institutions or Universities. This year the association sponsored six Research Travel Grants, for an average amount of 530 € per PhD candidate. The association also sponsors trips of VKI students to exhibitions, like the Bourget Air Show or to nearby research labs, as well as prizes for VKI graduates.


The recipients of the 2016 VKI-AA RTG are:

Cernat Bogdan (TU Dept.), for a one month stay in September at the U. Polytechnic of Cartagena, Spain, on the subject of active tip leakage flow control in turbines, using micro-fluidic, piezo-electric or electromechanical actuators, to conduct numerical simulations in the group of Prof. Juan Pedro Solano Fernandez, a former VKI DC (2003-04) member;

Giulia Dell’Era (TU Dept.), for a one-month stay in April at the “Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et Acoustique - LMFA” of the École Centrale de Lyon, France, in the research group of Dr. Xavier Ottavy, on the subject of unsteady phenomena in a high-speed, low pressure compressor stage, experimentally investigated in the VKI R-4 facility using time-resolved measurement techniques, the purpose being to complete the data by a modal analysis conducted using the LMFA software, to be adapted to the R-4 facility;

Charline Fouchier (EA Dept), for a one-week stay at the French research centre of Gramat, of the “Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique et aux Énergies Alternatives (CEA)”, to participate in tests of explosions in simulated complex urban and industrial environments, to determine effects on dispersion of pollutants and chemicals, as well as on blast wave overpressure, the purpose being to compare large scale experiments to the small scale experiment conducted last year at the VKI;

Gian Luca Gori (TU Dept.), for a one-month stay in April at University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, on the application of a two-colour Laser Induced Fluorescence technique using toluene as tracer, a technique developed by the research group of Profs. Christof Schulz and Sebastian Kaiser, coupled with PIV, to determine unsteady temperature and velocity fields, thence turbulent thermal diffusivity, to be implemented afterwards at the VKI for application to the optimization of cooling channels in turbine blades;

Miguel Mendez (EA Dept), for a one-month stay in April-May at École Centrale de Nantes, France, on the subject of gas jet impingement on a vertically falling liquid film, for which instability mechanisms have been studied experimentally at the VKI since several years using time-resolved PIV and quantitative flow visualization, and for which the advanced code developed by the research group of Prof. Thierry Coupez at Nantes will be used to reproduce numerically the VKI experiments, such code remaining available for other VKI researchers afterwards;

Alessia Simonini (EA Dept), for a two-month stay during the period May to August at the University of Bristol, UK, in the group of Prof. Raf Theunissen, a former VKI DC (2003-04) and PhD (2010) and specialist on PIV image processing algorithms, on the subject of non-intrusive optical measurement techniques and specialized image analysis algorithms to track the moving surface between liquid and gas phases, for application to the sloshing of cryogenic fuels in tanks under microgravity conditions.

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