UROP Openings

Have a UROP opening you would like to submit?

Please fill out the form.

Submit your UROP opening

Measuring drag on kelp


Term:

IAP and Spring

Department:

2: Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Heidi Nepf

Faculty email:

Apply by:

Contact:

yuming@mit.edu

Project Description

Seaweed [kelp] aquaculture is a sustainable and environmentally responsible form of food production, requiring no fresh water, fertilizers, or arable land. In addition, kelp farms remove nutrients from the water, improving coastal water quality. The long term goal of this project is to examine the size and layout of kelp farms that can provide the maximum harvest and coastal ecosystem benefit. In particular, the project will explore how to utilize more lines per ocean footprint. There are three main constraints to moving lines closer together; excessive drag on the lines can damage the farm and nutrient and/or light limitation may diminish growth in parts of the farm. This UROP project will take the first step toward enabling better prediction of how farm size and line density influence farm success. The project involves measuring the drag on real kelp fronds in an experiment channel with waves and current conditions, and then fabricating a suitable model frond for use in extended testing. Good hands-on skills and a basic subject in fluid mechanics are preferred, but not required. Contact: Dr. Yuming Liu: yuming@mit.edu

Pre-requisites

Good hands-on skills and a basic subject in fluid mechanics are preferred, but not required.