Pavlos Vlachos, Virginia Tech associate professor of mechanical engineering, and graduate student, Adric Eckstein, of Salem, Va., received the 2009 Outstanding Paper Award from the Institute of Physics’ "Journal of Measurement Science and Instrumentation" for their work in the area of fluid mechanics.

Their work advanced a method earlier introduced by Mark P. Wernet, of NASA, in the same journal in 2005. At that time he presented a new paradigm for digital particle imagery velocimetry data processing.

Vlachos and Eckstein call their technique the robust phase-correlation method, and the journal described their methodology for assessing performance as, “excellent” and “of general applicability … expected to have substantial impact in this very active area of fluid-mechanics measurements.”

Fluid mechanics is the study of fluid motion and the effects flows exhibit from the interactions of various forces.

Vlachos is the director of the Advanced Experimental Thermofluid Engineering Research Laboratory at Virginia Tech. He has established a world-renowned program in the development and use of time-dependent digital particle image velocimetry for flow measurement.

Applications for his research range from cardiovascular flows to super cavitating high-speed torpedoes.

Throughout Vlachos’ career, he has been the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI for 48 externally funded projects totaling $9.9 million in research expenditures, with his share at $4.8 million. He has authored or co-authored 31 journal papers and 84 refereed papers in conference proceedings. His research has resulted in 10 intellectual property disclosures and four patents. In 2009, he was appointed an associate editor of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Journal of Fluids Engineering.

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