FLIP is a non-traditional lab for fluid dynamics research and development, founded by Dr. Graham Doig and based at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Our team tackles problems using a wide range of experimental and numerical techniques, and if those don’t exist we’ll come up with new ones. FLIP also acts as a technology incubator and testing partner for Cal Poly's Prototype Vehicles Lab (PROVE Lab), and operates the Cal Poly Low Speed Wind Tunnel.

Recent highlights

May 2017

Cal Poly Engineering Names Dr. Graham Doig as a Lockheed Martin Endowed Professor

Awarded biannually in conjunction with Lockheed Martin, the professorships provide time and resources for professional growth and development to enrich the educational experiences of Cal Poly students. The award recognizes faculty members who contribute new knowledge in the field of engineering, partner with industry, involve students with advanced ideas and enhance teaching by introducing state-of-the-art topics into the classroom.

September 2017

National Science Foundation Grant for research into diversity and inclusiveness in engineering education.

FLIP Director Dr. Graham Doig has been awarded a 2-year, $188,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate the reasons why some students choose to participate in co-curricular engineering projects, while some students decide not to participate at all or leave projects soon after trying them.  The study is aimed at obtaining a more scientific understanding of this so that student teams and campus coordinators can offer more effective programs that also encourage improved diversity and inclusiveness. Welcome to the team, undergrad researchers Linda Moore and Andres Hernandez!

April 2017

FLIP Director Dr. Graham Doig was PI on a recently-awarded major infrastructure grant that will see $130k of high performance computing power at Cal Poly.

April 2017

Cal Poly PROVE Lab launched a major crowdfunding campaign to complete its mission to build the World's Fastest Solar-Powered Car, raising over $30,000.

December 2016

FLIP Director Dr. Graham Doig has been appointed to a 3-year Faculty Fellowship with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

May 2016

Andrew Furmidge wins Cal Poly Outstanding Student Employee of the Year. Andrew was give his award by campus President Armstrong.


FLIP currently has around two  dozen students and assistants working hard to blow things up, biomimic propulsion systems, increase efficiency and performance of vehicles, and improve facilities at Cal Poly (... more)

Fly / Swim

FLIP researchers are working on understanding the complex fluid dynamic effects induced by bird wing tip feather configurations and leopard seal flippers.

Use of 3d scanning and printing has allowed our team to create bio-realistic models that help us understand these features from an engineering perspective, as well as solving a few questions from the evolutionary biology point of view (...more)


Pioneering research into the interaction between shock waves and blast phenomena with laminar and turbulent flames has led to significant discoveries about how fires can be extinguished in the blink of an eye.

A combination of novel high-speed, density-based visualization and numerical modelling is helping guide research into the potential effectiveness of this approach as a field technique. The work has been featured in international media and is continuing at Cal Poly (...more)


Numerical and experimental research into road vehicle aerodynamics has included exploration of compressibility effects for racing cars, wing/wheel interactions, and explorations of appropriate modelling techniques.

Current focus lies in the accurate measurement and prediction of cornering effects, as well as continued work on wheel aerodynamics and boundary layer control in collaboration with Tesla Motors and Cal Poly PROVE Lab (...more).

About FLIP

FLIP is about innovative numerical and experimental research in fluid dynamics. We partner with a range of collaborators in industry and academia in the US, Australia and Europe (... more)


In just a few short years, FLIP has partnered with a wide range of companies, organizations, universities, supporters and sponsors to generate fundamental and applied research outcomes, as well as providing testing logistics and support for wind tunnel and field experimentation run through Cal Poly. If you want to find out more about what we can do for you or your organization, please contact us to discuss your ideas.

Video Highlights

Visit our media page for more videos, news stories, interviews and press features.

Dr. Graham Doig and FLIP students describe the Dan Gurney Rolling Road in the Low Speed Wind tunnel - and how you can help improve the facility!

Cal Poly Prototype Vehicles Lab aerodynamics guru (and FLIP wind tunnel assistant) Riess Haslam explains how the Low Speed Wind Tunnel works.

Cal Poly Aerospace major Kinsie Ward describes her experience with wind tunnel testing, and DesignBuildFly team members show how testing will help them succeed.

An interdisciplinary team of students from Cal Poly start a project to collect "big data" on road vehicle aerodynamics to see if a car can learn to predict its own flowfield in real time. 

Cal Poly Prototype Vehicles Lab (PROVE Lab) launches their attempt on the international land speed record for solar-powered vehicles. 65mph, batteries not included. 

Aerospace Engineering Senior Brandon Baldovin describes his summer internship with FLIP 3d scanning bird wings at the LA Natural History Museum - to turn into unique wind tunnel models. 

Dr. Graham Doig

FLIP Director/founder and Assistant Professor in the Aerospace Department at California Polytechnic State University - Graham is an award-winning researcher and teacher (...more)

FLIP Resources

For researchers in the FLIP team - software, e-library, documentation, communication, PROVE Lab Confluence access, safety.

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