Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2021 Recipient – Ankith Ullal

I came to Michigan Tech in 2015 as a master’s student. Before this, I completed my undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering in NITK Surathkal, India. During my master’s degree, I was exposed to research work and enjoyed it very much. I like solving challenging problems and doing new things every day. Thus, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. degree which started in fall 2017 under the guidance of Dr. Youngchul Ra.

My research work deals with developing new accurate models for evaporation of liquid drops as well as wallfilms to be used in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. In particular, the first project involved the development of a model to predict pre-ignition (and thereby prevent) by lubrication oil drops in marine natural gas engines. Pre-ignition in marine engines can cause mechanical damage and thus financial loss. I have developed and tested a CFD computer code that can predict complex preignition processes. The second project was to develop a new analytical model for wallfilm evaporation. To lower emissions during the cold start of internal combustion (IC) engines, accurate modeling of the evaporation and heat transfer physics of wallfilm is required. First, the theoretical derivation of the model was developed. The model was then programed and implemented in KIVA-3V code. I hope my work will help engine/power plant designers and manufacturers to develop machines and processes that are more efficient, greener, and cleaner.

Now as I am closer to graduation, I am grateful to my advisor Dr. Ra for providing me valuable guidance. I also acknowledge the contribution of my lab mates who participated in our numerous discussions which helped me in my work. I sincerely thank the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel and dean for awarding me this fellowship as it will help me concentrate on finishing my dissertation and defense.

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