Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Sean Bailey

Second Advisor

Dr. Jesse Hoagg, Dr. Alexandre Martin


The data-driven adaptive algorithms are explored as a means of increasing the accuracy of Reynolds-averaged turbulence models. This dissertation presents two new data-driven adaptive computational models for simulating turbulent flow, where partial-but-incomplete measurement data is available. These models automatically adjust (i.e., adapts) the closure coefficients of the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) k-ω turbulence equations to improve agreement between the simulated flow and a set of prescribed measurement data.

The first approach is the data-driven adaptive RANS k-ω (D-DARK) model. It is validated with three canonical flow geometries: pipe flow, the backward-facing step, and flow around an airfoil. For all 3 test cases, the D-DARK model improves agreement with experimental data in comparison to the results from a non-adaptive RANS k-ω model that uses standard values of the closure coefficients.

The second approach is the Retrospective Cost Adaptation (RCA) k-ω model. The key enabling technology is that of retrospective cost adaptation, which was developed for real-time adaptive control technology, but is used in this work for data-driven model adaptation. The algorithm conducts an optimization, which seeks to minimize the surrogate performance, and by extension the real flow-field error. The advantage of the RCA approach over the D-DARK approach is that it is capable of adapting to unsteady measurements. The RCA-RANS k-ω model is verified with a statistically steady test case (pipe flow) as well as two unsteady test cases: vortex shedding from a surface-mounted cube and flow around a square cylinder. The RCA-RANS k-ω model effectively adapts to both averaged steady and unsteady measurement data.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)