Sibley Ph.D. Student Researches the Visualization of Compressible Turbulence

Hazel Rivera-Rosario

Hazel Rivera-Rosario, a Ph.D. student in the Sibley School, was inspired to pursue an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering after participating in a robotics group growing up.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, Rivera-Rosario joined Cornell to pursue her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. A combination of engaging in an aircraft design team during undergrad and an exciting fluid dynamics course led her to study the field of aerospace engineering.

Rivera-Rosario was drawn to the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering by the close community of graduate students in the department. “When I first visited, I was surprised a lot of the graduate students knew each other,” said Rivera-Rosario. “This is not something I had seen at other schools.” She is especially fond of the open mic nights and annual BBQ, that offers a great opportunity for graduate students to take their mind off the research and spend time with their peers.

She is a member of the Bewley Applied Turbulence Lab (BATL), directed by Assistant Professor Greg Bewley. BATL studies turbulence, specifically, the intrinsic properties and its role in various environmental systems.

Rivera-Rosario research topic concerns the visualization of compressible turbulence. More specifically, developing a quantitative method for measuring fluctuating quantities such as density in a non-intrusive manner. These measurements can help further the understanding of the behavior of compressibility effects in turbulent flows.

During a summer research opportunity at the University of Florida, Rivera-Rosario worked with plasma actuators for water purification. She also did two internships at NASA Glenn, one working with torque testing and another with hypersonics work. Last summer, she did another internship at MIT Lincoln Lab where she looked at trajectories for hypersonic vehicles. After experiencing research environments outside of academia during her internships, Rivera-Rosario plans to go into industry after completing her Ph.D.

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