Vessel Dynamics Lab Growing – Now Seeking Post-Doc

The Vessel Dynamics Laboratory is looking to add a post-doctoral researcher to the team. The ideal candidate would have expertise in agent based modeling and/or smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), past work experience with human subjects, and an enthusiasm for occupational safety research. If this sounds like you or someone you know, please contact Leigh!

Moises Angulo joins research team!

Moises Angulo joins research team!

Moises is a senior studying Mechanical Engineering at George Mason University. He is currently working on doing high speed planing hull simulations to represent the Generic Prismatic Planing Hull (GPPH). After graduation, he plans on going to grad school to pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering. Outside of academia you can find him reading fiction novels, playing super smash bros, and working out.

Vessel Dynamics Laboratory

Vessel Dynamics Laboratory

As we get ready to kick off the 2019-2020 academic year, I’m thrilled to be settling into new lab space at GMU’s Potomac Science Center.  While furniture is still on order, computing power has arrived along with enough SeaPerch and SeaGlide kits to last us through some kickoff STEM outreach activities.  If you’re in the neighborhood, come by and visit: 1203 Potomac Science Center, 650 Mason Ferry Ave, Woodbridge VA!

Stephanie Sherman wins Virginia Space Grant Consortium Grant and Airport Cooperative Research Program Graduate Research Award

Update: Stephanie Sherman’s work on air traffic management has won her a Virginia Space Grant Consortium graduate student research grant and an Airport Cooperative Research Program Graduate Research Award!  Stephanie is working to develop a computational model of air traffic based upon a smoothed particle hydrodynamics-esque definition of aircraft interactions (like particle interactions in SPH).  Through this approach, her tool will be able to model stochastic aircraft characteristics in addition to deterministic characteristics.  Fundamentally, she is trying to provide a tool which can help address two important and challenging problems:

  1. Model aircraft interactions in a  decentralized control scheme versus the current centralized control approach (e.g. the bulk of aircraft interactions being governed by instructions from air traffic controllers).
  2. Model manned and unmanned aircraft interact with non-deterministic factors (e.g. pilot skill, aircraft handling, etc…)

Both of these topics are of interest for study as part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

To learn more about her excellent work, follow the tag for S_Sherman.

Stephanie Sherman

Stephanie Sherman rounds out the aerospace side of our aerospace and ocean engineering team with her research toward using a particle-based approach toward air traffic simulation with a focus on stochastic uncertainties and comparing centralized versus decentralized control schemes.



Underwater Gas Expansion and Deflagration

The underwater combustion of a propane-air mixture in an acrylic cylinder is captured on the video linked here from multiple angles. This experiment, led by Van Jones with assistance from Kariann Vander Pol and John Gilbert, is designed to provide visual data and pressure time-histories for future CFD validation studies. We have submitted this to the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics gallery of fluid motion competition this year! More information, including an extended abstract and higher resolution version of the video can be found at:

Pankaj Kumar wins award

Just got this e-mail from former post-doc Pankaj Kumar: “I am happy to inform you that I have been awarded best group project in IHPC/ASTAR. This award is for developing Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) solver within the OpenFOAM framework. My job in this project was to develop finite difference- and finite volume- based LBM solvers in OpenFOAM.”  Congratulations Pankaj!

Checking in with alum Qing Yang

I recently checked in with alum, Dr. Qing Yang who defended his PhD degree in December 2011 in the field of SPH simulation of fluid-structure interaction problems. He is now working as a naval architect in Kvaerner Field Development, a Norwegian oil service company specialized in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) of offshore platforms. His main job is to analyze the hydrodynamic load on the offshore platform and its mooring systems and the dynamic response of offshore platforms.  He also notes he is now engaged: congratulations Qing!


Van Jones

Van’s PhD research focuses on using particle based CFD to study a host of naval engineering problems with an emphasis on computational aspects to particle-based codes. He is the resident computer scientist on the research team. For more details on Van’s work, click on the tag ‘Jones‘ on this site.


Michele Cooper

Michele is a PhD student studying approaches to verification and validation of code.  This work has her covering the range from experimental, to numerical, to analytical work.  Her broad background also maker her the team’s defacto expert on everything from theology to health and nutrition.  Posts highlighting Michele’s work can be found by searching on the tag ‘Cooper‘ on this site.




Rob Story, MS

W. Robert Story, MS thesis “Application of Lyapunov Exponents to Strange Attractors and Intact & Damaged Ship Stability,” successfully defended April 29, 2009. Recipient of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools’ ETD Master’s Thesis Award in the “Innovative Application of Technology to Scholarship in a Master’s Thesis” category.  For more on Rob’s work, click on the tag ‘Story‘ on this site.