Developing a sustainable and resilient research program to fight climate change and air/water pollution requires an optimal mix of basic science and applied research. Basic science leads to developing long-term strategies (e.g., models predicting interactions of offshore wind farms). Applied research creates technologies to address immediate problems (e.g., technologies for shortening clean(er) plants’ outage periods).
Equally importantly, such academic research programs must also play a skeptical role and ensure that the solutions proposed to combat climate change and pollution will not alter or damage the environment through other mechanisms. For instance, would extracting several hundred trillion kWh of electricity from the atmosphere to create the electricity needed for a fully renewable-based electrified planet alter the atmosphere’s physics, locally, regionally, or globally? Does an artificial canopy like Bhadla Solar Park, with 5 million panels spread over 14,000 acres, affect the regional atmosphere? Or, would the excess water caused by ammonia used as an alternative to jet fuel in a carbonless aircraft cause excessive cloudiness, leading to measurable climate forcing? If yes, how can we address such side effects before it is too late?
Dr. Ahmad Vasel-Be-Hagh received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Windsor, Canada, in 2015. He specializes in thermal-fluid sciences. After completing a two-year postdoctoral appointment at the University of Delaware, he joined Tennessee Tech University’s Mechanical Engineering Department as an Assistant Professor in 2017. He is the founding principal investigator (PI) of TTU’s Fluid Mechanics Research Lab, where he fabricated TTU’s only wind tunnel facility. In this Lab, he has advised 13 graduate students (including six PhD students and seven M.Sc. students) and 25 undergraduate research assistants. Dr. Vasel-Be-Hagh has contributed to obtaining more than $14 million from NSF, NASA, TVA, DOE, DOI, and private industry, of which his share is more than $2.2 million, including a $500k NSF CAREER award. He has published his work in 26 journal papers and five book chapters. He has co-authored and edited three books, including “Utility-Scale Wind Turbines and Wind Farms,” published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). He has taught six undergraduate and graduate courses, including Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Intermediate Fluid Mechanics, Turbulence, Conduction Heat Transfer, and Atmospheric Fluid Mechanics. Dr. Vasel-Be-Hagh has organized several international conferences and served as a reviewer several times for four National Science Foundation programs.
Event Date: April 18, 2023