Peter Puttkammer, Bachelor's assignment at the Engineering Fluid Dynamics Group
Hi, my name is Peter Puttkammer, 23 years old and I started Advanced Technology in 2009. I did my bachelor assignment at the research group Engineering Fluid Dynamics, here at the University of Twente.
The title of my bachelor report was: Boundary Layer over a flat plate. A boundary layer is a phenomenon occurring for all fluids caused by the property called viscosity. Put a knife in honey pot and you know honey will stick to the knife. This is because honey has a high viscosity. For air this works exactly the same; an air stream around any object (in my case a flat plate) will stick a bit to this object, only a lot less then honey since air has a low viscosity. This thin layer of air which is influenced by the object is called the boundary layer. The manipulation of the boundary layer can be of interest for studies on efficiency or drag of wings of aircrafts or blades of wind turbines.
In my bachelor assignment I investigated analytically, numerically and experimentally the boundary layer. My researched showed that measurements on the boundary layer could be fitted to the theory, which is of interest to test theories for manipulating the boundary layer in practice.
I already knew that I wanted to do the master Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Fluid dynamics after finishing Advanced Technology. This because I enjoyed courses like Introduction to fluid dynamics and Aerodynamics the most in my bachelor. After a chat with Prof. Hoeijmakers I was really enthusiastic about the possibilities to combine theory and experiments in my bachelor assignment, so that sealed the case.
In the first part of the assignment I was reading literature about the subject and was busy working out the details for the calculations on the boundary layer. After a couple of weeks, I was done with the theoretical part and started the experiments in the wind tunnel at the university.
I really enjoyed the combination of the theoretical part and the experiments. Of course, sometimes things do not go as you plan it, but overall I liked the bachelor assignment a lot.