Miguel Nóbrega – Portuguese Fulbright Scholar, academic year 2015/2016
The most relevant outcome of the period spent at the non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics group from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (NNF/MIT), was the vast number of on-going and envisaged cooperation activities/topics.
One area clearly established, which was the main focus of the planned activity, is the familiarization with fractional viscoelastic models and the development of numerical tools capable to deal with them. The numerical implementation was done, and we are currently preparing a journal paper that will report those achievements. Also in this field, there is already a post-doctoral researcher, co-supervised by me and Professor Gareth McKinley (the coordinator of NNF/MIT), which will further explore this research topic.
In addition to the work planned, two additional cooperation areas were also identified and have already on-going work, namely the rheological characterization of yield stress fluids that exhibit wall slip and the developments of drag models for rigid spherical particles. In both topics, there are already post-doctoral researchers from both institutions and a MSc student from the university of Minho involved in the work.
During the stay there were a few contacts done with companies that work frequently with MIT research groups. Among those contacts, one made with Schlumberger, in which I had the chance to present my research activity in a webinar, allowed to identify possible cooperation activities, for which I am currently preparing a research proposal.
Finally, MIT is an intrinsic multicultural institution, with representative communities from all over the world. During the grant period, I had the chance to interact with persons from different countries all over the world (Iran, India, China, France, Brazil, Singapore, among others), which was a very enriching experience. Moreover, the highly dynamic period, related to the USA presidential elections, with several organized debates covering different aspects of it, were very useful to increase my acquaintance with the American way of living.