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 (...more)

April 2017

New generation of high performance computing coming to Cal Poly

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 by Summer 2017 - the first steps in a major upgrade of HPC capability that will allow advanced CFD simulation to be undertaken by research faculty and students. The new equipment, from Silicon Mechanics, will also facilitate new collaborations across CSU campuses (...more)

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.


FLIP currently has around a 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)

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. 


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.

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.

(Login required)

Using Format