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Clarkson University’s Bohl Receives National Science Foundation CAREER Award

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Douglas Bohl, assistant professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering at Clarkson University, has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Bohl will receive $400,000 over five years from the NSF for his research on the phenomenon of dynamic stall in airfoils. Douglas Bohl

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is an NSF-wide activity that offers the Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of their organizations’ missions.

Bohl’s research focuses on the dynamic stall of airfoils, which is important in the development of a wide array of technologies ranges from wind turbines to high-performance aircraft.

"Airfoils are central components of many important technologies," says Bohl. "Better understanding of flows over airfoils is critical to these products’ continued development."

Through his research, Bohl hopes to develop a bio-inspired strategy, based on the flippers of humpback whales, to control or delay dynamic stall.

He also intends to use a measurement technique he helped develop, molecular tagging velocimetry, to quantify the velocity and vorticity fields in the critical region near the airfoil leading edge for finite aspect ratio airfoils, an area for which data does not currently exist.

Bohl has been a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering since 2003. He regularly teaches courses in fluid mechanics and design of propulsion systems. Bohl has also been critical in developing new courses to supplement Clarkson’s new minor in energy.

He will begin teaching Introduction to Energy Systems, a course he developed with his colleague, Ken Visser, this fall. Outside the classroom, Bohl acts as the faculty advisor to the Clean Snowmobile Challenge SPEED team, a team that has placed first in competition this year under his supervision.

Bohl is heavily involved in Clarkson’s K-12 initiatives. In 2008, he co-wrote a paper on educational partnerships that earned a "Best Paper Award" from the American Society of Engineering Educators. He is currently working on the development of new curricula for high school courses in bio-fluid mechanics and biomimicry under Clarkson’s Office of Educational Partnerships.

In his three years at Clarkson, Bohl has published numerous journal articles and has delivered several papers at professional and academic conferences. His other research interests include the development and application of new diagnostic techniques for measurement of fluid flows, unsteady aerodynamics, renewable energy generation, spill and dispersion of volatile chemicals and dynamics of energetic materials.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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