American Australian Association Global Leadership Symposium

Dr. Doig attended the American Australian Association’s Global Leadership Summit in New York City this week - the 2 day workshop and networking event was designed to bring together past and present Scholars (Dr. Doig was a recipient of a Qantas scholarship back in 2011 - supporting postdoctoral research in the US on shockwave/fire interaction) to discuss interdisciplinary approaches to solving some of the world’s biggest problems. And to drink some Coopers, 34 stories above Lexington Ave. As a very Australian random bonus event, some of the scholar’s ran into former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd outside a store, making him almost as accessible as New Zealand’s former Prime Minister. Dr. Doig also managed to get in a trip to the new Cornell-Tech campus on freezing Roosevelt Island, to get some ideas for Cal Poly’s Entrepreneurship programs.  

2018 NASA Ames Trip

Dr. Doig took some of Cal Poly’s finest student aerodynamicists up to NASA Ames last week (students in his unique Aerodynamic Research and Development class, AERO568/569), where they got a rare look inside the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Center (a.k.a. the world’s biggest wind tunnel). Teams got feedback on their own projects for Cal Poly’s Low Speed Wind Tunnel, and spent the day with many Cal Poly alums who work at the cutting edge of R&D on programs like parachutes for Mars, low sonic boom demonstrators, and the massive Space Launch System rocket.

Dr. Doig wins Society of Women Engineers award

Dr. Graham Doig was awarded Cal Poly’s Society of Women Engineers award for “Most Supportive Professor”. Cal Poly’s SWE branch is regularly ranked top in the nation for its programming to support female engineers, and Graham’s award comes shortly after he announced an initiative to take participation of women engineers to 30% in the Prototype Vehicles Lab over the next 18 months. Each year, SWE members are asked to nominate professors that they feel have gone above and beyond in offering support and encouragement to women and diversity in engineering.

The following was said of Dr. Doig at the event:”This professor’s emphasis on fostering student creativity brings together students from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, interests, and skill sets through collaborative and dynamic projects. He is the faculty advisor of PROVE Lab - Cal Poly’s Prototype Vehicles Lab, which is working to smash the speed record for a land-based solar powered vehicle. When their record is set, it will also be led by a female engineer in the driver’s seat! Through his support, these students have gone off to continue their enriching experiences with opportunities to work at places like NASA Ames.”

PROVE lab completes solar car bodywork

FLIP’s sister organization (Dr. Doig’s other acronym) PROVE Lab today announced they have completed bodywork manufacturing for what will be the world’s fastest solar-powered car this coming summer! Join Aerospace Engineer and Solar Car driver Lacey Davis as the team gets the final ultra-lightweight composite part out the oven and into the lab!

Tynan Guerra interning at NASA

FLIP grad student Tynan Guerra spent this Fall interning at NASA Langley Research Center with the Flow Physics and Control branch where he is working in the Probe Calibration Tunnel, a small Mach 3.5 supersonic wind tunnel to investigate a novel measurement technique called Focused Differential Laser Interferometry. Outside of work, he got to visit the Goddard Space Flight Center, the Udvar-Hazy Center, Shenandoah National Park, Washington DC, and Asheville NC. Spending a semester at NASA has been a dream come true for Tynan, and he is excited to return to Cal Poly in January where he can apply what he has learned in the low speed wind tunnel!

Kyle Forster Graduates, Takes Job at Mercedes F1

UNSW Sydney PhD Candidate Kyle Forster was officially awarded his doctorate - congratulations Kyle! His thesis, “The Interactions of Streamwise Co-rotating and Counter-rotating Vortices” was successfully defended and the work resulted in several top quality publications currently coming through in Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Physics of Fluids, and more. Kyle is taking up a job at Mercedes F1 in England, becoming the 4th FLIP student to end up in Formula One. Well done Kyle!

Graham Doig awarded $188,000 NSF Grant for Diversity and Inclusion research

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 (such as Formula SAE, PROVE Lab, Concrete Canoe, Robotics Club and many more), while some students decide not to participate at all or leave projects after trying them. While the benefits to students of engaged involvement are relatively well documented, participation and experience varies a lot across students from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. 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 better encourage improved diversity and inclusivity.

The research will eventually expand to other college campuses in California to better understand how Cal Poly’s student body and “Learn by Doing” approach compares. The project, which will support several student researchers (including new hires Linda Moore and Andres Hernandez), is a collaboration with Dr. Chance Hoellwarth (Center for Engineering, Science and Mathematics Education) and Dr. Kathy Chen (Materials Engineering), with CSU STEM VISTA AmeriCorps volunteers Nicki Holm and Monica Singer.

Tory Bruno visits

United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno (proud Cal Poly alum) visited Cal Poly’s College of Engineering, including a trip to see how PROVE Lab’s solar car is coming along.

Quantel Donates PIV Laser to FLIP

Leading laser technology company Quantel visited Cal Poly’s Aerospace Engineering Department today to donate a high-power pulsed laser that will be used in Dr. Graham Doig’s Low Speed Wind Tunnel lab. The new laser is powerful enough to illuminate particles in the air that flow around a wing or car model, allowing the software to “see” the vortices and turbulence that would normally be invisible. Quantel’s Dr. Diane Wong and team also hosted a lunch to show our students other cool applications like lasers on the International Space Station and Curiosity Mars rover! Quantel’s donation will make a big difference to research in the lab, as you can tell from our happy grad students in the photo, and the laser will also become a part of testing in the undergrad applied aerodynamics course - students can now use even more equipment that they’ll see again in cutting edge tests in industry!

Lauren Polo scores NASA “Virtual Internship”

Lauren Polo is continuing her work with NASA Ames on Infrared Thermography for wind tunnel tests, through a “Virtual Internship” mechanism from the NAMS program. She’s able to undertake lab work at Cal Poly with trips to Ames over the school breaks, to collaborate with her mentor (and Cal Poly alum) Ted Garbeff at the Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel complex.

From Salinas CA, Lauren was a transfer student who joined the university in her junior year, and worked with FLIP in Cal Poly’s Low Speed Wind Tunnel Lab. “I am working with researchers to find an optimal coating for high speed wind tunnel model infrared measurements. My major helped me prepare by giving me hands on technical experience before I went into my internship. I was already comfortable being in a lab and asking questions before I got to NASA. I have that thanks to Cal Poly!”

Congressman Carbajal Visits FLIP and PROVE

FLIP was honored to have Congressman Salud Carbajal come and visit the low speed wind tunnel as well as PROVE Lab. Carbajal has sponsored a bill in coordination with the Air Force Research Laboratory that could possible help fund state of the art high performance computing equipment for our labs to build on the success of Dr. Doig’s new Bishop cluster. He also visited Cubesat during his morning on campus, and was willing to put on an Aerospace Engineering hat for a pic even though he really, really doesn’t like hats.

FLIP summer undergrads visit Tesla

Geary Yu and Alex Meraz are sponsored by the College of Engineer’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program, and are working with FLIP and our client Tesla to look at a specific automotive aerodynamics problem that is helping the Tesla engineers understand whether small changes in bodywork can make a big difference in boundary layer behavior. Last week, Geary and Alex presented their results to Tesla’s aerodynamics team in Hawthorne, CA. We’d love to show you a picture of that, but it’s NOT ALLOWED. So here’s a picture at the massive supercharger station outside the design studio instead.

Bird Scanning at NASA Ames

Graham Rolph and Graham Doig from Cal Poly scan a pelican at NASA Ames

Cal Poly aero junior Graham Rolph (left) and Dr. Graham Doig were 3d scanning pelicans and turkey vultures at NASA Ames last week - part of a long-running effort to do some of the world’s first bio-realistic wind tunnel testing on large gliding birds. Thanks so much to Kurt Long who let us use their 3d scanner to generate millions of points of the geometry in a matter of seconds.

Summer Undergrad Researchers visit FLIR

Many Cal Poly undergrads are interning as research assistants and wind tunnel engineers this summer with FLIP - some of the team took a trip to Goleta-based FLIR, the world’s number 1 company for thermal imaging. Infrared thermography is increasingly used at Cal Poly to visualize flow phenomena like boundary layer transition, and FLIR recently donated two Tau2 cameras to the lab to expose more students to FLIR’s technology. Same as everywhere we go, Cal Poly alums were all over the facility, happy to see the next generation of Mustangs.

2017 NASA Ames interns

Several students from Cal Poly Aerospace Engineering Department are heading to NASA Ames Research Center this summer. Long-time Low Speed Wind Tunnel assistant (and 2016 aerodynamics team lead for PROVE Lab), Riess Haslam, (left), will be working in the Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel (same as last year!) with Lauren Polo (next to Riess) who helped out with the wind tunnel traverse this year, and Tyler Miles (rear) who spent last summer at Ames’ Fluid Mechanics Lab under the mentorship of a great friend to Cal Poly Aero, Kurt Long. This year, Katie Breitenstein (rear) will be at the Fluid Mechanics Lab - Katie’s been helping get a seal swimming project started. And Bob Comstock, currently PROVE Lab’s CAD guru, will be working on developing CFD tools in a separate division at Ames. Lucas Dodd (not pictured) is also heading to the Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel complex, having worked with Dr. Doig on bird wing aerodynamics last year. Whew. That’s a lot of people who’ve done a lot of great stuff about to have an incredible summer.


Dr. Graham Doig and undergraduate researcher Danny Stalters presented at the CLEO 2017 conference in San Jose as invited speakers in the Quantel/Optical Society Foundation “Bright Ideas” session. They described their innovative work on real world automotive aerodynamics, and how the team plans to incorporate some world-first laser measurements into future testing.

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

Awarded biannually in conjunction with Lockheed Martin, the $25,000 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.

Since joining Cal Poly in late 2014, Graham Doig (pictured here with Ed Burnett of Lockheed Martin) has integrated undergraduate aerospace engineering students into aerodynamic research of a nearly professional quality. He has overseen the significant modernization of Cal Poly’s Low-Speed Wind Tunnel, and he has overhauled key courses in fluids, thermodynamics and applied aerodynamics to offer more project-based learning and foster increased student creativity. Doig founded and advises the high-profile, student-led Cal Poly Prototype Vehicles Lab, which is building a car to break the land speed record for a solar-powered vehicle in the summer of 2018.

CIE profiles Graham Doig and PROVE Lab

Cal Poly’s Center For Innovation and Entrepreneurship talks to FLIP Director and CIE Faculty Fellow Dr. Graham Doig about his work with the Prototype Vehicles Lab and encouraging student startups out of an environment that encourages invention and engagement with the field of transportation.

PROVE Lab Crowdfunding

FLIP’s sister organization PROVE Lab are building the world’s fastest solar-powered car, to break a land speed record for a solar vehicle. They are aiming to raise $20,000 in crowdfunding to help them complete their dream - visit to find out how YOU can support them and help show off Cal Poly’s engineering talent to the world!

Track Testing

Cal Poly students Danny Stalters (aero) and Andrew Furmidge (ME) have been making great progress on an undergraduate research project funded by a Baker and Koob Endowment grant. The goal is to determine whether machine learning applied to aerodynamic data during a track test featuring multiple variables can be used to the point where the vehicle could sense oncoming flow conditions and, in near real time, predict what the aerodynamic response of the vehicle would be.

Cal Poly awarded new High Performance Computing resources

Dr. Graham Doig was PI on a grant to obtain a new $130,000 high performance
computing resource for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The cluster, from Silicon Mechanics,
will greatly enhance computational fluid dynamics capability on campus
for students and researchers, and opens the door to collaborations
across the College of Engineering.  The “Bishop” cluster, named after a local mountain or the android from 80’s sci-fi classic “Aliens” (depending who you talk to), will transform the ability of FLIP students to undertake top-quality CFD simulations of fluids problems, and will be a stepping stone on the way to bigger, better resources in the near future.

“We are very excited because this is a solution we can implement immediately,” said Graham Doig, assistant professor of aerospace engineering at Cal Poly, and the lead investigator on the grant proposal. “The cluster, first of all is going to do so much for our students from a research perspective. Ultimately, however, it is going to break down some of the computing silos that exist interdepartmentally, and bring the universities departments together.”

You can read Cal Poly’s full press release here.

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