Patrick Lee among five U of T Engineering faculty to receive Ontario Research Funding to advance transformative research

Anyone who lives under a flight path is familiar with the “whishing” and “whooshing” sounds of an aircraft flying above. Professor Philippe Lavoie (UTIAS) is developing technologies to contain this noise to just the immediate area around an airport. 

Lavoie’s project is among five from U of T Engineering to receive funding from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence (ORF-RE) program, which aims to promote innovative research of strategic value to Ontario. 

He will use the funding to tackle the first key challenge: understanding how an aircraft’s high-lift wing configuration — which gives an aircraft extra lift during takeoff and landing — creates and emits noise. His team will also explore strategies for mitigating this noise while maintaining aerodynamic performance.  

“We are investigating a complex phenomenon that involves fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, acoustics, and interactions between the three,” explains Lavoie, whose work will involve detailed wind tunnel experiments and high-fidelity computational aeroacoustics (CAA) simulations.  

“Ultimately, this work will help develop novel and quiet high-lift system configurations that can be implemented in the next generation of aircraft.” 

The project is being carried out in partnership with aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, and the team hopes to have preliminary results within a year.  

“It is through support from ORF and NSERC that this leading-edge aeroacoustics research project is made possible at U of T,” says Lavoie. 

Lavoie adds that investments from both industry and government have made this work possible. Previous funding enabled the construction of a unique hybrid anechoic wind tunnel, a project that is currently underway at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS). 

“The aviation industry has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 and the travel restrictions,” adds Lavoie. “But the fundamental importance of air travel and air freight remains. It is very important that Ontario continues to support this industry and facilitates innovation in this very competitive sector.” 

The five U of T Engineering researchers to receive ORF-RE funding are: 

  • Philippe Lavoie (UTIAS) — Characterization, Prediction and Control of Flap Noise Sources from Aircraft
  • Patrick Chang Dong Lee (MIE) — Innovative and Cost-Effective Micro/Nanocellular Foaming Technology for Sustainable Lightweight Application
  • Eric Miller (CivMin) — iCity 2.0: Urban Data Science for Future Mobility
  • Konstantinos N. Plataniotis (ECE) — Transforming pathology using artificial intelligence to improve patient outcome and hospital efficiency
  • Steven Waslander (UTIAS) — All-Weather Autonomy: Securing Ontario’s Leadership in the Self-Driving Revolution 

– This story was originally published on the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering News Site on July 6, 2021 by Liz Do

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