Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Wade W. Huebsch

Committee Co-Chair

Darran R. Cairns

Committee Member

Ismail Celik

Committee Member

John M. Kuhlman

Committee Member

Alric P. Rothmayer


Dynamic stall is an unsteady aerodynamic phenomenon garnering much research interest because it occurs in a variety of applications. For example, dynamic stall is known to occur on helicopter rotor blades, wind turbines, high maneuvering military aircraft, and flapping wings. Dynamic stall occurs when an aerodynamic lifting device, such as an airfoil, wing, or turbomachine blade, undergoes a rapid pitching motion. It also occurs on lifting devices that are impulsively started at high angles of attack. Dynamic stall can "delay" aerodynamic stall to angles of attack that are significantly beyond the static stall angle of attack.;During dynamic stall a large leading edge vortex (LEV) is formed, which creates greater fluid acceleration over the wing or airfoil, thus sustaining lift. As this vortex is shed downstream stall eventually occurs and there is an abrupt increase in drag and a large shift in pitching moment. Research has been performed to better understand the mechanisms occurring during dynamic stall in an effort to find ways to best take advantage of the increased lift associated with dynamic stall, but avoid the downfalls that occur once stall is initiated. Few attempts have been made to alter the LEV, and these attempts have used methods associated with laminar boundary layer separation control. Although these methods have shown promise, they suffer from the drawback that they exhaust more energy than is gained by flow control, while also only being effective at certain flight regimes.;The research described herein documents the first study on the ability of dynamic roughness to alter the LEV encountered on a rapidly pitching airfoil. Both numerical and experimental studies were performed, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations as well as stereo and planar particle image velocimetry (PIV) experiments. Evidence for the ability of small scale dynamic roughness to alter the development of the LEV was found in both the computational simulations and experiments. This research is the first of its kind to show both computationally and experimentally that dynamic roughness is a viable flow control method for both steady and unsteady aerodynamics.