Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Sedat Biringen

Second Advisor

Mahmoud I. Hussein

Third Advisor

John Evans

Fourth Advisor

Alireza Doostan

Fifth Advisor

Harihar Rajaram


Direct numerical simulations (DNS) of spanwise-rotating turbulent channel flow were conducted. The data base obtained from these DNS simulations were used to investigate the turbulence generation cycle for simple and complex turbulence. For turbulent channel flow, three theoretical models concerning the formation and evolution of sublayer streaks, three-dimensional hairpin vortices and propagating plane waves were validated using visualizations from the present DNS data. The principal orthogonal decomposition (POD) method was used to verify the existence of the propagating plane waves; a new extension of the POD method was derived to demonstrate these plane waves in a spatial channel model. The analyses of coherent structures was extended to complex turbulence and used to determine the proper computational box size for a minimal flow unit (MFU) at Rob ≤ 0.5. Proper realization of Taylor-Gortler vortices in the highly turbulent pressure region was demonstrated to be necessary for acceptably accurate MFU turbulence statistics, which required a minimum spanwise domain length Lz = π. A dependence of MFU accuracy on Reynolds number was also discovered and MFU models required a larger domain to accurately approximate higher-Reynolds number flows.

In addition, the results obtained from the DNS simulations were utilized to evaluate several turbulence closure models for momentum and thermal transport in rotating turbulent channel flow. Four nonlinear eddy viscosity turbulence models were tested and among these, Explicit Algebraic Reynolds Stress Models (EARSM) obtained the Reynolds stress distributions in best agreement with DNS data for rotational flows. The modeled pressure-strain functions of EARSM were shown to have strong influence on the Reynolds stress distributions near the wall. Turbulent heatflux distributions obtained from two explicit algebraic heat flux models consistently displayed increasing disagreement with DNS data with increasing rotation rate. Results were also obtained regarding flow control of fully-developed spatially-evolving turbulent channel flow using phononic subsurface structures. Fluid-structure interaction (FSI) simulations were conducted by attaching phononic structures to the bottom wall of a turbulent channel flow field and reduction of turbulent kinetic energy was observed for different phononic designs.