Helping NATO’s capability development by bridging Science and applied Engineering

​​Helping NATO’s capability development by bridging Science and applied Engineering – a corporation between the ‘von Karman Institute’ and the ‘Applied Vehicle Technology’ Panel

“Scientists discover the world that exists; engineers create the world that never was.” -Theodore von Karman.
In the course of 1955, Theodore von Karman, who was chairman of the Advisory Group for Aeronautical Research and Development (AGARD, now NATO Science & Technology Organisation (STO)) of NATO, proposed the establishment of an institution devoted to training and research in aerodynamics which would be open to young engineers and scientists of the NATO nations.
Nowadays, the von Karman Institute (VKI) is a non-profit international educational and scientific organisation, hosting three departments (aeronautics and aerospace, environmental and applied fluid dynamics, and turbomachinery & propulsion). It provides post-graduate education in fluid dynamics (research master in fluid dynamics, doctoral program, short training program and lecture series) and encourages "training in research through research". The von Karman Institute undertakes and promotes research in the field of fluid dynamics. Extensive research on experimental, computational and theoretical aspects of gas and liquid flows is carried out at the VKI under the direction of the faculty and research engineers, sponsored mainly by governmental and international agencies as well as industries.

Figure 1: Aerodynamic loads measurement and flow visualization of an ogive in a supersonic flow @VKI
In close corporation with NATO’s Applied Vehicle Technology (AVT) Panel, the VKI organizes each year 8 to 12 one-week Lecture Series on specialized topics in the field of aerodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer with application to aeronautics, space, turbomachinery, the environment and industrial fluid dynamics. This also includes the two current corporations on ‘Uncertainty Quantification in Computational Fluid Dynamics’ (STO-AVT-326) and on ‘Flow Characterization and Modeling of Hypersonic Wind Tunnels’ (STO-AVT-325). These courses have gained over the years world-wide recognition for their high quality which is the result of a careful choice of subjects of current interest and lecturers known for their excellency in that field and willing to co-operate in building up well-structured courses.
Additionally, to the permanent link between the AVT Panel and VKI, the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) was established in order to execute a yearly assessment of the scientific importance for NATO and NATO nations of the VKI’s planned activities for the coming academic year and the subsequent years. Furthermore, it provides the VKI Board of Directors with recommendations pertaining to the scope of the VKI Program of Work (PoW) to ensure its continuous relevance to NATO. Finally, it seeks for advices and recommendations for improvement of synergies between the STO PoW and the VKI activities. These continuous efforts lead to VKI’s substantial inputs to AVT’s current PoW, including ‘Hypersonic Boundary-Layer Transition Prediction’ (AVT-240) as well as the support in ‘Propeller and Turbofan Noise Prediction’ (AVT-314, AVT-318).

Figure 2: The international Scientific Advisory Committee visited the VKI hypersonic Facilities in February 2018
The sum of VKI’s and AVT Panel’s efforts bridging Science and Operational Requirements in the spirit of Theodore von Karman – “Scientific results cannot be used efficiently by soldiers who have no understanding of them, and scientists cannot produce results useful for warfare without an understanding of the operations.”
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Published by AVT