Something in the wind: engineer’s work cited as provincial exemplar

Who knew that windmills are territorial? According to an article published online this week by the Ontario Council on University Research, UWindsor researcher Rupp Carriveau did—and his work can turn that knowledge into better wind farms.

Placed too close together, turbines interfere with one another, reducing their overall efficiency, but Dr. Carriveau, an associate professor in civil and environmental engineering, is working to determine how strategic placement can exploit the windmills’ wakes to increase power generation.

The article “A flock of windmills,” by Toronto-based writer Patchen Barss, explains how Carriveau is drawing on the strategies employed by migrating geese and other flocking birds to capitalize on the air disturbances caused by their neighbours’ wings to make their own flight more efficient.

Its publication in a blog is part of the Research Matters campaign, a collaboration among Ontario’s 21 universities to find new ways to tell stories about how research is changing lives. The campaign aims to provide wider access to Ontario researchers and their work in an effort to demonstrate the importance of university research to the general public.

Read the full article on the Research Matters Web site. The site will regularly publish articles on research in all sorts of disciplines from every Ontario university; readers may check back for updates.