Industrial Research Chair in Multidisciplinary Computational Fluid Dynamics
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council [NSERC] of Canada and the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation have teamed up to create a new industrial research chair in the Faculty of Engineering at McGill University.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council [NSERC] - J. Armand Bombardier
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council [NSERC] of Canada and the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation have teamed up to create a new industrial research chair in the Faculty of Engineering at McGill University. Today, at a ceremony at the University, it was announced that the position has been awarded to Dr Wagdi G. Habashi, Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and an international leader in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).
"We sincerely hope that this chair will become a forum within the aerospace field to exchange and encourage dialogue between specialists in Canada and worldwide," said Robert E. Brown, President and CEO of Bombardier Inc. "It will not only serve to strengthen the teaching and research capabilities, but it will also prepare generations of students for future leadership roles."
"The creation of the Chair recognizes the considerable accomplishments Professor Habashi has already made in his field and the importance of his work to advancing Canadian expertise in the high-technology arena," said Dr John E. Gruzleski, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. "It adds significant depth to the research he directs in several areas of great significance to the aerospace industry around the world and particularly in Quebec, where distinguished companies such as Bombardier are key drivers of our economy."
CFD is becoming the premier method for design of new aircraft and is made more possible by the availability of supercomputers. It is the mathematical simulation of the flow over various parts of the aircraft. It enables designers to vary the shape of the various components and test them "virtually" for aerodynamic performance and efficiency under a wide range of real-life conditions. This helps in reducing and focusing the often more expensive wind tunnel and flight testing. Using CFD yields more optimal designs, more aerodynamically efficient aircraft and engines, quieter cabins and engines, and components with better in-flight icing performance.
The focus of the McGill CFD Lab that Professor Habashi directs is on the resolution by simulation of three-dimensional industrial problems and this has given it a strong tradition of collaboration with the aerospace industry, locally and internationally. Pacesetting companies such as Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney, Bell Helicopter, CAE, Airbus and EADS are using the results and methods that he and his team in the CFD Lab have pioneered to build better aircraft and engine components, and to do it more quickly and less expensively than would otherwise be possible.
NSERC and the J. Armand Bombardier Foundation are providing major and equal funding for the Chair, complemented by Silicon Graphics, a first for the company in terms of contributing to a Chair.
"Aircraft efficiency, safety and performance stand to benefit substantially from the superb computational models proposed by Dr Habashi," said NSERC president Tom Brzustowski. "I congratulate McGill University and the Fondation J. Armand Bombardier for establishing this new partnership in such a crucial area. I also congratulate Silicon Graphics for their participation."
Before coming back to McGill two years ago - he did his bachelor's (Summa cum Laude) and master's studies at the University, and completed a PhD at Cornell - Dr Habashi had garnered a number of awards and grants while teaching at Concordia University in Montreal, among them a $12,500,000 grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) in 1999 for Supercomputing (Interdisciplinary Research Facility), the Technology Achievement Award of Pratt & Whitney Canada, being named Pratt & Whitney Research Fellow, the University Research Award of Concordia University, the Cray Gigaflop Award for the fastest computer code in the world, and being selected as one of the 10 top scientists in Montreal by the Montreal Gazette in its series, Montreal the Year 2000.
In 2000, a Quebec university consortium based at McGill and directed by Professor Habashi won another CFI grant, this one for $8,000,000 for High Performance Computational Simulation and Visualization. This will see one of Canada's largest supercomputers installed at McGill for the use of the CLUMEQ Consortium.
Professor Habashi is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Editor in Chief of the International Journal of CFD (IJCFD), published by Taylor & Francis.