SURF

Henry Pham

Renewable Energy in Fluid Mechanics

Recorded in literature, it has been observed that mud banks can dampen overpassing waves, absorbing the energy stored in the waves. In the Theoretical and Applied Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, team members have built an artificial seabed carpet coupled with dampers and springs acting vertically at various locations on the carpet to mimic the effect of a muddy seafloor. I will be investigating methods to optimize the parameters of the carpet which include designing a power take off system, spring stiffness and damping coefficient of the carpet as well as many other intrinsic properties of the carpet. These all have to be optimized for an efficient wave energy conversion. I will also review the progress of ocean wave energy conversion in the United States in the past decade. The advantages of harnessing ocean wave energy are its energy density, predictability, and environmentally friendly nature, which means little to no pollution.

Message to Sponsor

I am thankful for the opportunity to engross myself fulltime in a research experience that is both cutting-edge and impactful to society. Since the beginning of modern society, the human civilization has been depending on cutting edge research to harness energy that is fossil fuel. However, its limited supply begs scientists and engineers to seek alternative ways, sources of energy that are both renewable and environmentally friendly. The SURF/ROSE Hills fellowship allows me the financial freedom to fully engage my creativity to tackle a meaningful engineering problem that has the potential to positively affect the world.
  • Major: Mechanical Engineering
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: Reza Alam, Mechanical Engineering