Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pterosaur Aerodynamics at GWU

+Lorena Barba over at George Washington University had her students do some fun summaries of pterosaur aerodynamics at the end of the Fall Semester. She is a professor in engineering who runs a course on animal flight (she is also the CFD guru behind the latest analysis of gliding snakes with J. Socha). These topics followed from a discussion that Lorena and I had after some interesting (and amusing) trolling on my Google+ stream. We identified four topics for her students to look into more: pterosaur launch, pterosaur weight estimates, pterosaur wings and flight capabilities, and Wagner Effects. The students wrote blog posts, which can be found here:

These students are all engineers, which adds a fun element because most were quite unfamiliar with pterosaur biology going into this project. There are some errors in the terminology and details of biology as a result, but it's quite good work, and brought some new things to light for me (especially the Wagner section). Enjoy!

Oh, and Happy New Year everyone...