Interview: Tural Tunay
Tural Tunay currently holds a position as postdoc researcher at the Centre for ECO² Vehicle Design. He earned his PhD degree from Çukurova University in Turkey. We asked him some questions on his research at the centre.
1. What is your research project?
The general description is that the aim of the project is to develop a reliable, robust and practical numerical method for use by vehicle designers when analysing and designing vehicles. To be more specific, our research focuses on investigating the dynamic characteristics of the ground vehicles subjected to crosswind. Crosswind stability of the vehicles has not been fully addressed in the past. With this project, the aim is to explain aerodynamic aspects of the unsteady crosswind flow around the vehicles by considering complex unsteady interactions between aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics and driver attitude. In the design procedure of ground vehicles, one aim is to reduce fuel consumption by modifying their external shape aerodynamically and by reducing their weight. However, unfortunately, these efforts are in general conducted independently from each other. Recent studies have revealed that improvement in one aspect without considering the other may diminish desired benefits, i.e. improvements in aerodynamics and reduction in weight of the vehicle independently might arise lateral stability issues related to vehicle dynamics. Therefore, our project, which is an interdisciplinary study, aims to understand all dynamics characteristics of the vehicles subjected to crosswind by coupling aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics. In this sense, we believe that the results from our project may contribute to the solution of all design conflicts studies conducted in our research center.
2. To which concrete problems could your research be applied?
The current state-of-art in design processes of ground vehicles is generally insufficient to optimize the vehicle’s body when it is subjected to crosswind. Therefore, a reliable tool predicting crosswind stability of vehicles early in the development process is required to avoid costly modifications at later stages. In the process of vehicle design, experimental methods are expensive, and in some cases impossible to perform unless all parts of the vehicle are designed. However, the flexibility of the numerical methods, as employed in our project, allows vehicle designers to investigate numerous crosswind scenarios and parameters, which are impractical with experimental methods, in the early stages in the design process. It’s very beneficial to have methods like this for the vehicle manufacturer to save both time and money in the design process. That’s the practical side of the study. On a more fundamental side there is a need to understand the characteristics of the flow around vehicles subjected to crosswind. Therefore, at the end of the project, less wind-sensitive vehicle design in terms of modifying the external shaping, mass properties and suspension characteristics will be suggested.
3. How is the research performed?
The project studies are conducted within the Centre for ECO2 Vehicle Design in collaboration with other KTH researchers, mainly Ciarán O'Reilly and Lars Drugge . In the project studies, reliable numerical methods which provide a good trade-off between accuracy and computational cost are employed to predict the response of vehicles to on-road crosswinds by 2-way coupling the aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics simulations, including driver input. Computations are performed using high performance computing facilities – PDC (Center for High Performance Computing) at KTH.
4. Who would be most interested in the results of the research?
Vehicle designers and manufacturers, because current development tools employed in the design process of the vehicles are not realistic and they are insufficient. Besides, scientists at universities who study on aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics and control might be interested. Our research studies bring these three together, they all are connected to each other in some way.
5. Why do you conduct research and what are your plans after your post doc?
First of all, I like vehicles, to drive them. And the possibility to improve their technology has always fascinated me.[CO1] Next year, I will return to my home university to proceed my research studies there. But I would very much like to continue collaborating in mutual projects with the researchers here at KTH.