MAE Seminar Series

Computational Modeling of Fluid-Structure-Acoustics Interactions in Biological and Physiological Systems

Xudong Zheng.

Xudong Zheng

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, Rochester Institute of Technology

Thursday, December 7th, 2023 | 3:30 p.m. | 109 O'Brian Hall


Dr. Zheng’s research focuses on developing and utilizing computer modeling techniques to improve the understanding of mechanism of fluid-structure-acoustics interactions (FSAI) in biological/physiological functions for applications including human disease diagnosis and treatment, bio-inspired design and simulation-assisted healthcare. In this talk, Dr. Zheng will first present his work on developing a versatile multiphysics computational platform for simulating FSAI in complex biological/physiological systems. He will then demonstrate the application of the platform on two research projects, including hydrodynamic sensing of seal whisker and human speech production, with more information provided below. Other research projects will be briefly presented in the end. Hydrodynamic sensing mechanism of seal whisker. Seal whisker sensing has recently attracted increasing research interest because of its extraordinary sensitivity, accuracy and intelligence. The goal of this research is to elucidate the hydrodynamic mechanisms and sensing abilities that result from the unique geometry of seal whiskers. In this talk, Dr. Zheng will present his recent research findings of how a unique geometry feature of seal whisker reduces self-induced noises in calm waters through the generation of stable 3D hair-pin vortices in the wake and how the whisker array signals and wake structure are correlated for wake identification. Human speech production. Intensive study in speech production has established that vocal fold posturing, tissue properties, and aerodynamic forces all interact to ultimately control vocal fold kinematics and glottal flow that subsequently set crucial acoustic source parameters such as fundamental frequency, registers, and spectral slope. In this talk, Dr. Zheng will present his work on developing a high-fidelity subject-specific computer model to simulate the entire integrated speech production process from laryngeal muscle contraction to FSAI with full complexity of anatomy. He will demonstrate that, driven by physiologically measurable parameters and realistic geometry reconstruction from images, the model accurately predicts laryngeal posturing, vocal fold motion and acoustics, supporting the model as a critical tool towards building causal links between vocal fold biomechanics to voice.


Dr. Xudong Zheng is an associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Before joining RIT, he held positions at the University of Maine for a decade, serving as both an assistant and associate professor. He earned his Ph.D. from George Washington University in 2009 and spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins University. His primary research areas are bio-fluid, bio-mechanics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), with emphasis on the biological systems that involve flow-structure-acoustics interactions (FSAI). His research interest is on: (1) addressing the fundamental questions regarding the FSAI in wide ranges of biological applications, (2) developing innovative computational modeling approaches to tackle the challenges in simulating FSAI in biological systems and enable multi-disciplinary research. Through years, his research was supported by multiple NIH,NSF ONR grants and international foundation awards. Dr. Zheng is the recipients of NSF early faculty Career awards in 2017 and was honored with the University of Maine Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award in 2022.

Event Date: December 7, 2023