Christopher D. Griffin

Teaching Assistant Professor
Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering
West Virginia University
PO Box 6106
Morgantown, WV 26506-6106
Phone: 304.293.3386
Personal Website: cdgriffin.me
E-mail Address: cgriffin@mail.wvu.edu

Education

2013DEC
PhD in AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
West Virginia University / Morgantown, WV

Dissertation: "Numerical and Experimental Study on the Ability of Dynamic Roughness to Alter the Development of a Leading Edge Vortex"
PDF Download

2007AUG
MS in MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
West Virginia University / Morgantown, WV

Thesis: "Pressure Deflection Behavior of Candidate Materials for Morphing Wings"
PDF Download

2004MAY
BS in AEROSPACE ENGINEERING, BS in MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
West Virginia University / Morgantown, WV

Professional Experience

2018AUG - Present
Teaching Assistant Professor
West Virginia University / Morgantown, WV

While working as a Research Assistant Professor, the department advertised a teaching track position. I was fortunate enough to be offered the position and am excited to work in this role. Although my primary responsibility is teaching undergraduate courses, I still can participate in a variety of research that enhances my teaching ability. Recently, I have predominantly taught aerodynamics oriented courses, including Incompressible Aerodynamics, Compressible Aerodynamics, and Introduction to Aerospace Engineering.

I continue to work on research projects dealing with unsteady aerodynamics, computational fluid dynamics, and unmanned aerial systems. I’ve recently become involved with an NSF education-based research project that I am honored and excited to be a member.

2017NOV - 2018AUG
Research Assistant Professor
West Virginia University / Morgantown, WV

My background in unsteady aerodynamics led me to work on a project dealing with trajectory and orientation prediction of unstable aerodynamic bodies. As part of this research team, I aided in the development of an outdoor research facility. This facility provides the ability to record projectile launches using multiple synchronized high-speed cameras, as well as a 70 camera VICON motion capture system. The goal is to statistically validate models as well as dive into the physics that cause the motions captured during test flights.

I also started an additional project dealing with the flow and thermal properties of submerged tubing. My primary task is CFD analysis of various tubing and their components at different ambient and flow conditions. The goal is to make the fluid delivery system more efficient in terms of pressure drop across the system, as well as to reduce heat loss.

I also taught classes as needed, including Introduction to Aerospace Engineering, Statics, and Thermal and Fluids Laboratory.

2014JAN - 2017NOV
Visiting Scholar/Postdoctoral Fellow
West Virginia University / Morgantown, WV

Upon graduation, I was hired as a Visiting Scholar which then transitioned into a Postdoctoral Fellowship. In this role, I extended my active flow control studies into the area of projectile maneuverability. The experimental analysis was conducted using particle image velocimetry (PIV) to visualize the flow field around 40mm mortar rounds. Static and dynamic roughness elements were added to document their effect on the flow field. Although there was an effect, results were not conclusive on its ability to potentially maneuver such an object.

I also was able to continue teaching as needed by the department in this role. I taught several classes, including Fluid Mechanics, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and Thermodynamics.

2009AUG - 2013DEC
Graduate Research Assistant/PhD Dissertation Research
West Virginia University / Morgantown, WV

The goal of my dissertation work was to evaluate the application of dynamic roughness to rapidly pitching airfoils. Dynamic roughness has previously been used to computational and experimentally eliminate the laminar separation bubble near the leading edge of an airfoil at various angles of attack. The new application involves the delay of the dynamic stall phenomenon. Dynamic stall is a condition that occurs on airfoils undergoing relatively rapid pitching maneuvers, or airfoils that are impulsively started at a large angle of attack. In these cases, the airfoil is able to continue to produce lift beyond the static stall angle of attack.

A consequence of dynamic stall is the development of a leading-edge or dynamic stall vortex. This vortex helps to sustain lift, but once the vortex sheds downstream there is an abrupt loss of lift, increase in drag, and change in pitching moment. I was able to show computationally and experimentally that dynamic roughness can delay the formation of the leading-edge vortex. I used particle image velocimetry (PIV) to visualize the flow field around the pitching airfoil and the commercial CFD code Fluent in this research. Using macros and user-defined functions I was able to develop additional code to simulate the pitch-up maneuver, as well as surface displacement to mimic dynamic roughness. It is hoped dynamic roughness will have less energy consumption than other active flow control techniques such as plasma or blowing/suction.

It was also during this time that I started teaching as a graduate student. My first class was Fluid Mechanics.

2007AUG - 2009AUG
Graduate Research Assistant/Reseilient Tunnel Project
West Virginia University / Morgantown, WV

Working on the Resilient Tunnel Project was a challenging but rewarding experience. The goal was to develop an inflatable structure that could act as a flood mitigation barrier in subterranean transit tunnels. Our multidisciplinary team consisted of faculty and students from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, and the LANE Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department.

My primary role was to design, development, and implement systems dealing with fluid storage, transmission, and sensing. I developed data acquisition hardware and software techniques to record flowrate, pressure, and displacement. While working on this project, we transitioned from small 3-foot scaled experiments to full scale and full pressure subway mockups. The full-scale experiments required designing and implementing pumps and plumbing to safely deliver water at over 3000 GPM. I also had the honor to work with industry and government partners such as ILC Dover, Department of Homeland Security, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Some additional info can be seen by accessing the links below.

https://www.dhs.gov/publication/resilient-tunnel-project
https://youtu.be/9F8U0_VtZ-4
https://www.tunneltalk.com/New-Products-Dec12-Resilient-Tunnel-Plug-for-inflatable-flood-protection.php

2005AUG - 2007AUG
Graduate Research Assistant/MS Thesis Research
West Virginia University / Morgantown, WV

My MS research investigated the behavior of various materials under biaxial load conditions for potential use on the surface of a morphing wing. In order to test different types of flexible materials, I designed and fabricated a bulge test apparatus. This device is a pressure vessel with a clamping end that allows material to be securely installed. Upon pressurization material displaces, the profile of the displacement is measured using a traversing optical range. This profile measurement allows biaxial stress calculations.

The results showed a combination of woven and rubber based materials would provide excellent conformability while providing the balance between strength and flexibility required by morphing structures.

2004MAY - 2009JUL
Engineering Technician
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health / Morgantown, WV

While at NIOSH, I worked in the Surveillance and Field Investigations Branch (SFIB), which is within the Division of Safety Research (DSR). I worked on a project whose goal was to investigate highway construction safety hazards, particularly the hazard of workers being struck by construction vehicles or equipment. Our group was also tasked with developing and evaluating interventions that would reduce this risk to highway construction workers.

To identify high-risk areas around construction equipment, I collected and digitized Construction Equipment Visibility (Blind Area) Diagrams for various types of vehicles and equipment used on highway construction sites. I subsequently developed a NIOSH website to host these diagrams for public access, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/highwayworkzones/bad/imagelookup.html . The investigations used GPS location trackers to track worker movement throughout the day, in addition to construction equipment. Along with my colleagues, I helped develop programming that would use the GPS data from the construction worker and that of the construction equipment to identify the number of times and duration in which a worker was considered in a high-risk region.

Interventions developed to reduce risk included proximity warning devices, backup cameras, and Internal Traffic Control Plans (ITCP). I was particularly tasked with fabricating hardware and installing the proximity warning devices and backup cameras on dump trucks.

Teaching Experience

Computational Fluid Dynamics WVU Course MAE 433
Course Description
Introduction to modern computational fluid dynamics. Development and implementation of finite difference and finite volume schemes for numerical flow solution. Grid Generation. Explicit, implicit, and iterative techniques. Emphasis on applications. Validation and verification of solution.
Student Majors
Aerospace Engr. and Mechanical Engr.
Student Class Rank
Juniors, Seniors, and Graduate
Total Sections Taught
1
Average SEI
4.81
Latest Syllabus
Compressible Aerodynamics WVU Course MAE 336
Course Description
This course covers the fundamental concepts of compressible aerodynamic theory; including an introduction to hypersonic flow. Topics include analysis and design of compressible, inviscid flows, isentropic flow, shock waves, Prandtl-Meyer expansions, and supersonic nozzles and diffusers. The course will also identify aspects of airfoils in compressible flows, including small perturbation theory.
Student Majors
Aerospace Engr. and Mechanical Engr.
Student Class Rank
Juniors and Seniors
Total Sections Taught
1
Average SEI
4.80
Latest Syllabus
Incompressible Aerodynamics WVU Course MAE 335
Course Description
Fundamentals of flowing fluids that can be treated as incompressible. Topics include what it means to be incompressible, analyzing the dynamics of fluid flow fields, ideal fluid flow, and viscous boundary layers. In this course, we also cover airfoil theory as well as finite-wing theory.
Student Majors
Aerospace Engr. and Mechanical Engr.
Student Class Rank
Juniors and Seniors
Total Sections Taught
1
Average SEI
4.73
Latest Syllabus
Fluid Mechanics WVU Course MAE 331
Course Description
Properties of fluids, fluid statics, inviscid fluid dynamics, fluid kinematics, thermodynamic principles, mass momentum and energy principles, similitude and dimensional analysis, laminar and turbulent flow, vicous effects, flow in pressure conduits and external flows.
Student Majors
Aerospace Engr., Industrial Engr., Mechanical Engr., Petroleum and Natural Gas Engr., Mining Engr.
Student Class Rank
Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors
Total Sections Taught
10
Average SEI
4.65
Latest Syllabus
Thermal and Fluids Laboratory WVU Course MAE 322
Course Description
Experiments demonstrating fundamental concepts of thermal-fluid systems; hydrostatics, dynamic pressure forces, dimensional analysis, pipe pressure losses, drag on external bodies, flow measurements devices, engine performance, fan and turbine performance, saturated vapor curve determination.
Student Majors
Aerospace Engr. and Mechanical Engr.
Student Class Rank
Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors
Total Sections Taught
13
Average SEI
4.62
Latest Syllabus
Thermodynamics WVU Course MAE 320
Course Description
Principles of thermodynamics; properties of ideal gases and vapors; first and second laws of thermodynamics; basic gas and vapor cycles; basic refridgeration.
Student Majors
Aerospace Engr., Civil Engr., Industrial Engr., Mechanical Engr., and Petroleum and Natural Gas Engr.
Student Class Rank
Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors
Total Sections Taught
2
Average SEI
4.48
Latest Syllabus
Statics WVU Course MAE 241
Course Description
Engineering applications of force equilibrium. Vector operations, couples and moments, resultants, centers of gravity and pressure, static friction, free-body diagrams, trusses and frames.
Student Majors
Aerospace Engr., Biomedical Engr., Chemical Engr., Civil Engr., Electrical Engr., Industrial Engr., Mechanical Engr., Mining Engr., and Petroleum and Natural Gas Engr.
Student Class Rank
Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors
Total Sections Taught
2
Average SEI
4.43
Latest Syllabus
Introduction to Aerospace Engineering WVU Course MAE 215
Course Description
Fundamental physical quantities of a flowing gas, standard atmosphere, basic aerodynamic equations, airfoil nomenclature, lift, drag and aircraft performance. Digital computer usage applied to aerodynamic and performance problems and aircraft design.
Student Majors
Aerospace Engr.
Student Class Rank
Sophomores and Juniors
Total Sections Taught
3
Average SEI
4.66
Latest Syllabus

Dissemination

Journal Publications

Griffin, C. D., Huebsch, W. W., Rothmayer, A. P., and Wilhelm, J. P., "Numerical and Experimental Study on the Ability of Dynamic Roughness to Alter the Development of a Leading Edge Vortex," Fluid Mechanics: Open Access, Vol. 3, No. 2, (2016).
https://bit.ly/2Hn4I4p

Conference Proceedings

Griffin, C. D., Browning, P. H., Hamburg, S. D., Cox, J., Katzner, E. E., Katzner, T. E., and Huebsch, W. W., "Free Flight Observations and Aerodynamic Analysis for Biologically-Inspired Optimization," AIAA Paper 2017-0501, 55th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, SciTech Forum, January 9-13 2017, Grapevine, TX.
https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2017-0501

Griffin, C. D. and Huebsch, W. W., "Numerical and Experimental Study on the Ability of Dynamic Roughness to Alter the Development of a Leading Edge Vortex," AIAA Paper 2014-2047, 32nd AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Conference, AIAA Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition, June 16-20 2014, Atlanta, GA.
https://doi.org/10.2514/6.2014-2047

Invited Presentations

Griffin, C. D. and Huebsch, W. W., "Development and Progress of Biologically-Inspired Aerodynamics Research at West Virginia University," Aerospace Systems Directorate - US Air Force Research Lab, July 8 2015, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH.
PDF Download

Poster Presentations

Griffin, C. D. and Huebsch, W. W., Dynamic Roughness as a Means for Aerodynamic Flow Control. Poster presented at: Linking Innovation Industry & Commercialization; November 2012; Morgantown, WV.
PDF Download

Textbook Contributions

Munson, Bruce R., Rothmayer, Alric P., Okiishi, Theodore H., Huebsch, Wade W., Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics. 7th ed. Hoboken, NJ; John Wiley & Sons, 2013.
Publisher's Website

  • Contributed images of CFD results.

Young, Donald F., Munson, Bruce R., Okiishi, Theodore H., Huebsch, Wade W., A Brief Introduction to Fluid Mechanics. 5th ed. Hoboken, NJ; John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
Publisher's Website

  • Developed example problems, “Fluids in the News” articles, and homework problems incorporating Prevention through Design (PtD) material, an initiative developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) with the goal of increasing awareness and use of proper design of work-day equipment to reduce accidents and injuries in the workplace.

Research Support

Characterization of Unsteady Aerodynamics for Unstable Free-Flight Bodies
Budget
$128,156 (Phase 1); $1,162,345 (Phase 2-3); $248,482 (Phase 4)
Role
Co-PI
Sponsor
The Applied Physics Laboratory at John Hopkins University
Period
01.04.2017 - 07.31.2017 (Phase 1); 05.30.2017 - 03.31.2019 (Phase 2-3); 02.07.2019 - 11.06.2019 (Phase 4)
Small form-factor, Relocatable, Unattended Ground Sensor
Budget
$48,906 (Phase 1); $282,533 (Phase 2)
Role
Co-PI
Sponsor
NextGen Federal Systems, LLC; Army Research Lab (SBIR)
Period
08.01.2018 - 05.31.2019 (Phase 1); 12.01.2019 - 11.30.2021 (Phase 2)
Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Diver Thermal Human Interface
Budget
$23,000 (Phase 1.5); $451,248 (Phase 2); $150,000 (Phase 2.5)
Role
Co-PI
Sponsor
Boston Engineering Corporation; Naval Special Warfare (STTR)
Period
10.01.2016 - 02.06.2017 (Phase 1.5); 02.07.2017 - 02.07.2019 (Phase 2); 02.08.2019 - 03.21.2020 (Phase 2.5)

Service Activities

Co-advisor of the WVU chapter of AIAA American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronuatics
Co-advisor of the WVU (Beta Xi) chapter of Sigma Phi Delta
SAE Reviewer

Awards

2010
NIOSH Bullard-Sherwood Research to Practice (r2p) Award
Award Webpage

Professional Memberships

American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronuatics (AIAA), Member
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Member
SAE International, Member