All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Gary Cheng

Advisory Committee Members

Robert Nichols

Roy P Koomullil

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) School of Engineering


The transition of an attached boundary layer from laminar to turbulent greatly affects the performance of aerospace and turbomachinery devices. In the past, a wide range of methods have been employed for modeling this physical phenomenon, including the Stability theory, Direct Numerical Simulation, and numerous proposed modifications to the existing Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes turbulence models. It is believed that the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes based models, of all the existing models, are easiest for coupling with production Computational Fluid Dynamics codes in order to achieve rapid, satisfactorily accurate estimates. There exists a huge body of literature on predicting turbulence transition using models based on Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes, however, due to the complexity of the underlying physics involved in the transition process, these models are usually tuned to handle only certain types of flows and may not be applicable to different flow conditions and geometries. Therefore, the first objective of this thesis is to select, from the available literature, Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes based transition predicting models that have the most generalized formulation. The second goal is to implement these models into a Computational Fluid Dynamics flow solver. The third goal is to validate them on some standard benchmark test cases. This thesis aims at achieving a neutral evaluation of the state-of-the-art turbulence transition models.

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