New Thermal-Fluids Lab at JMU Opens Doors to Community

From: Public Affairs

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A new laboratory where researchers can study heart conditions, aerodynamics, water flows and even some applications not yet considered, will host an open house from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, at James Madison University.

A $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation was used to equip the state-of-the-art advanced thermal-fluids laboratory. Located on the ground floor of the Health and Human Services building on JMU's campus east of Interstate 81, the lab is outfitted with a stereo particle image velocimetry system, a flow visualization water tunnel, a subsonic wind tunnel and a heart simulator system.

Dr. Olga Pierrakos, an assistant professor of engineering, and Dr. Karim Altaii, a professor of integrated science and technology, secured the grant for the equipment, which they hope will also be used by faculty and students from other disciplines at JMU as well as researchers from neighboring colleges and universities, area companies and area schools.

Pierrakos already has used the heart simulator in collaboration with doctors from Rockingham Memorial Hospital and the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Some simple experiments will be conducted Tuesday to show the equipment in action. The lab is in Room 0002 of the HHS building. Members of the general public who wish to attend should contact JMU Parking Services (540-568-3300) to obtain parking permits and directions.

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Feb. 28, 2011