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Fluids and Aerodynamics

Stark Learning Center • 570-408-4600 (T) • Email

Our Fluids and Aerodynamics Lab offers students a hands-on approach for analyzing how air, water, other fluids and gases impact objects at rest or in motion. Advanced instrumentation, including a sub-sonic wind tunnel, measures wind and fluid patterns, essential for designing and building prototypes of aerodynamically engineered cars, planes, spacecraft and marine vessels. Lab instruction applies theory toward designing everything from water transportation infrastructure and flood control systems to household piping and filtration.

Research and Development Activities

  • Students participate in vital research initiatives with the U.S. Army Research and Development Engineering Center and other important partners. Under the guidance of our faculty and other experts, our students design prototypes of unmanned air vehicles (UAV) and then evaluate drag and lift to determine flight worthiness. The collaboration has had a major economic impact on UAV product development and improvement. West Point Military Academy, University of Hartford, Keystone Automation, and Imperial Machine Tool Company collaborate on this initiative.
  • Other Research and Development activities include submitting proposals to conduct studies biodegradable training rounds as part of a $3.3 million dollar program for the Department of Defense, Environmental Security Technology Certified Program. Research focuses on ways to help reduce the costs of keeping training ground soil and aquifers uncontaminated, which can become contaminated when arsenic and other heavy metals leeches into the ground from carbide rounds, causing huge cleanup costs.
  • Dr. Perwez Kalim is the Director of the Fluids and Aerodynamics Lab. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kansas in 1982 and 1985, respectively. His expertise is in Thermal Science, Aerodynamics, Finite Element Method (FEM), Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems, and Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) Assessment Process. He is currently partnering with ARDEC (Armament Research Development & Engineering Center) Picatinny, NJ, on developing next generation hybrid projectiles and Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs). He joined Wilkes in 1988, and was promoted to Professor in 2008.


  • Our Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) mathematically measures how fluid (including air) flows over objects using lasers, optics and cameras in a fully-operational wind tunnel. PIV provides data vital for testing missiles and other air-born objects to evaluate flightworthiness. One of the most important engineering tools, our PIV is unique to our laboratory. PIVs are seldom available in many university laboratories nationwide.
  • Our lab’s sub-sonic Wind Tunnel allows students to observe and predict wind effects on turbines, cars, planes, marine vessels and other objects. The wind tunnel also enables students to analyze concepts behind weather anomalies, such as tornadoes and cyclones.
  • A prototype desktop model of a Hydro-Electrical Power Plant introduces students to basic operation principles demonstrating Newton’s laws, such as how changes in flow velocity affect pressure and force gradients with respect to time.
  • Centrifugal pump allows students the opportunity to learn concepts involving pump operations and how materials behave.


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  • Wilkes University |
  • 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766 |
  • 1-800-WILKES-U
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