The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department is celebrating doctoral candidate Lakshmi Ramanujam, whose faculty advisor is Yahya Modarres-Sadeghi, as the 500th person to sign up for MIE’s LinkedIn page. Ramanujam earned his Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from SASTRA University in Thanjavur, India. He is doing his graduate research on wind-induced oscillations of open-grown excurrent evergreen trees. In addition to his heavy workload as a doctoral student, he also follows several blogs on science and research. Ramanujam has been awarded the Basant Nanda Fellowship for 2011-12 and a University of Massachusetts Amherst merit scholarship for 2010-11.
He presented his research on wind-induced oscillations of open-grown evergreen trees at the Engineering Mechanics Institute 2011 Conference and a similar paper at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society-Division of Fluid Dynamics. He was also the team leader for designing “Step Climber and Path Follower” robots for Robotix ‘07, a competition held in India.
“Trees oscillate in wind – sometimes with rather large amplitude,” as Ramanujam explains his current research. “Sometimes they break on a windy day. If we can predict how they oscillate, and how the frequency and amplitude of their oscillations depend on the wind speed and the tree properties, we can save the trees – or at least try to save them—and reduce the chance that they will fail.” (June 2012)