Principal Investigator

Dr. David E. Rival, P.Eng.

Associate Professor, Queen’s University

PDF, MIT (Mech. Eng.)
Ph.D., TU Darmstadt (Mech. Eng.)
M.Sc., Queen’s University (Mech. Eng.)
B.Sc., Queen’s University (Mech. Eng.)

Dr. Rival’s lab focuses on experimental fluid dynamics, including the development of novel post-processing techniques for Eulerian and Lagrangian data. This data, in turn, is used to extract features such as entrainment, pressure, unsteady forces, coherent structures, and ultimately low-order models of complex systems. New avenues into coupling sparse measurements with computations (i.e. data assimilation) are also being pursued. Experiments are conducted both in controlled lab environments (see the Facilities section) as well as in the field (both in vivo and at large environmental scales).

Although the group’s research interests are fundamental in nature, there are numerous applications that span across a large range of Reynolds numbers from pulsatile (transitional) flow in human arteries up to the dynamics of the atmospheric boundary layer. To further exemplify the diversity of scales, some of the current research topics include the study of evolutionary convergence of marine and aerial locomotion of fish, birds, insects, mammals and even extinct species such as Anomalocarids. These studies provide engineers insight into the development and implementation of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) as well as the design and operation of propellers, rotors and even water turbines in highly complex environments.

After completing his BSc and MSc in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s, Dr. Rival left for Germany to undertake a PhD in experimental aerodynamics at the Technische Universitaet Darmstadt. As part of a larger program studying nature-inspired fluid mechanics Dr. Rival studied energy extraction in dragonfly flight, for which he received the Hugo Denkmeier prize from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). During this period Dr. Rival was a key member of a NATO task group on Micro Aerial Vehicle aerodynamics for which the team also received the 2011 NATO RTO Scientific Achievement Award. After completing his PhD, Dr. Rival spent a year as a postdoctoral associate at MIT examining rapid underwater maneuvers inspired by nature relevant to the propulsion of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. He then spent four years on faculty at the University of Calgary before returning to Queen’s in July 2014.