Air Force Office of Scientific Research Names Perry Johnson a Young Investigator

Perry Johnson receives Young Investigator Program grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Feb. 12, 2024 - The Air Force Office of Scientific Research has selected Perry Johnson, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, for a 2024 Young Investigator Program (YIP) grant. He is among a select group of  scientists and engineers in the country to earn the honor this year and will receive $450,000 over three years for his efforts to study turbulent boundary layers, which could help increase the performance, efficiency and maneuverability of aircraft.

"This project should be really fun, trying to get a better understanding of how the mysterious, chaotic dynamics of turbulence interact with various types of complex surfaces,” said Johnson. “Maybe in the future, we can figure out how to fine-tune surface properties on different parts of the wing and fuselage in a smart way to achieve better aircraft performance or higher efficiencies.”

Turbulence plays a key physical role in a wide variety of boundary layer flows related to energy, transportation and national security. Johnson’s project aims to better understand and predict the interaction of turbulent boundary layers with flow control schemes based on engineered surfaces. He will employ advanced physics-based diagnostics to convert simulation data into physical insights, with the goal of learning how surface properties can be tuned for effective flow control.

“Congratulations to Perry Johnson on his remarkable achievements,” said Julian Rimoli, professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “His work not only enhances the prestige of our program but also significantly contributes to the advancement of aerospace engineering. We look forward to his continued success and the impactful insights he will bring to our field.”

AFOSR received 159 proposals this year for YIP funding. The program’s objective is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increase opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and related challenges in science and engineering.

– Lori Brandt