The Flow Research Unit (FRU) was established as a formal research entity in the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa in 1990. It is housed in the School of Mechanical, Industrial & Aeronautical Engineering and makes use of its facilities while offerring the opportunity for students of the School to undertake reasearch in the Unit.
The flow Research Unit is the only centre of specialization in South Africa that concentrates on flow phenomena with particular emphasis on unsteady and compressible flows .
It is the only group with specific and proven expertise in highly transient fluid flows and shock wave studies, coupled with a strong integration of experimental, computational and analytical skills.
This capability has been extended to cover a wide range of fluid flow systems, ranging from aerospace to mining applications. The expertise developed is leading to some innovative technologies, has made impact internationally, and is utilized by local industry.
It is believed that with modern instrumentation and computing capabilities many observed phenomena are now more accessible and the use of averaged values and empirically determined coefficients needed to correlate theory with experiment are no longer that necessary. Thus the more detailed examination of flows in time and space are likely to lead to improved understanding.
Continuing Professional Development...
A postgraduate research degree within the FRU provides a good background and hands-on experience in design, experimentation (a must for all FRU projects) and project management. Industry-proposed projects are often undertaken as student research projects or, where appropriate, by people in industry as part of study toward a higher degree.
The Director of the Flow Research Unit, Prof. Beric Skews, was awarded an raes awards.pdf of the Royal Aeronautical Society at the annual Wright Memorial Lecture held at the Society headquarters in London in December 2008. This is the highest distinction in the Aerospace profession offered worldwide and is only awarded to candidates who have made an exceptional contribution to the industry. Further details can be found in the raes brochure web.pdf.
Enquiries are welcome - Randall.Paton@wits.ac.za