Faculty Advisor

Savilonis, Brian James


This report investigates the optimization of bluff body cross-sectional shapes for creating vortex induced vibration. By using finite element analysis software, the lift coefficients of 12 geometric shapes were compared to a cylinder. A "T" shape and a "concave-T" shape were selected to be compared to the cylinder in water tank testing. The shapes were manufactured using an ABS rapid prototyping machine and tested in a fluid flow tank system designed by the team. The "T" shapes produced 50% greater forces and 40% greater amplitudes than the cylinder, but the cylinder produced an 85% higher frequency. This study concluded the "T" shapes should be used for low speed, high torque generators, while the cylinder should be used for high speed, low torque generators.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2011


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

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