The predecessor of the Department of Fluid Mechanics, the Institute of Aerodynamics, was established in 1934. The building of the Department was opened in 1938, and our largest wind tunnel was put into operation. The wind tunnel, which was initially used for aircraft research, still plays a major role in aerodynamic studies, pollutant dispersion and urban climate investigations, as well as many other research topics actively being pursued at the Department. Under the leadership of the former Heads of the Department, József Gruber, Tibor Szentmártony and Tamás Lajos, the Department's key areas of research have been: acoustics, aeroelasticity, atmospheric processes, environmental technology, flow control, fluid machinery, HVAC, and vehicle aerodynamics. The capacity and facilities of the Theodore von Kármán Wind Tunnel Laboratory provide unique wind tunnel and flow measurement opportunities in Hungary.
As a result of a continuous effort to further develop the Laboratory’s equipment and capabilities, the members of the Department are able to actively participate in research collaborations and industrial R+D projects. Our state-of-the-art optical measurement tools, such as our LDA (Laser Doppler Anemometer) and PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) measurement systems provide a means for carrying out accurate measurements in the case of complex fluid flow phenomena. Beside the aforementioned wind tunnel, the Laboratory is equipped with multiple smaller wind tunnels, which serve various specialized purposes, providing an easily configurable environment for fluid flow investigations. Another important state-of-the art tool we utilize in our R+D activities is that of numerical investigations. Our Department utilizes Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Computational AeroAcoustics (CAA) tools in order to model complex phenomena.
In short, the role of the Department of Fluid Mechanics is to educate the engineers of tomorrow, carry out basic research, and to help the industry by carrying out R+D assignments with regard to gas, liquid, and vapor flow, including naturally occurring and industry-related flow phenomena and processes.
As the Department has continuously grown and developed over the years, our scope of activities has also widened with regard to our research as well as industrial R+D. The staff of the Department aims to extend the capabilities of the Department even further by deepening our knowledge in other areas of fluid mechanics and numerical methods, utilizing the new knowledge in our research activities and strengthening our domestic as well as international collaborations. Some of these areas are the measurement and novel simulation of pollutant dispersion over urban areas, modeling of free surface flows in the development of wave energy converters, as well as the investigation and application of optimization techniques based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. In the case of numerical investigations, our department prefers the application of open source tools, which helps facilitate a trouble free cooperation as well as providing accessibility to our results on behalf of our partners.
As compared to other facilities in the region, the Laboratory is uniquely equipped and therefore regularly provides the needed facilities and equipment for investigating fluid flow problems and phenomena within the framework of domestic as well as international investigations.