The Belgian National Committee for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics was impressed by the quality of the research conducted by Deni-Gabriel Caprace as part of his UCLouvain PhD thesis on fluid mechanics. He is the winner of the 2020 NCTAM Award.
Dr Caprace’s thesis focused on aircraft wakes. He worked with Philippe Chatelain and Grégoire Winckelmans, researchers at the Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil Engineering and professors at the Louvain School of Engineering. Why study aircraft wakes? For one, they determine air traffic, which must avoid the accidents wakes are likely to cause, but also because wakes could soon be harnessed by civil aviation for use in formation flying. Like migratory birds, aircraft could use wakes to reduce aircraft consumption.
Learn about Denis-Gabriel Caprace’s research by watching the impressive footage in this English-language video:
UCLouvain is at the forefront of aircraft wake research. In order to exploit wakes during training flights, our researchers developed an algorithm that could soon make it possible to reduce aircraft consumption by 5 to 10%. Philippe Chatelain explains (in French):