Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Gregory A. Blaisdell

Committee Chair

Gregory A. Blaisdell

Committee Member 1

Alina A. Alexeenko

Committee Member 2

Tom I-P. Shih


Accurate predictions of turbulent boundary layers and flow separation through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are becoming more and more essential for the prediction of loads in the design of aerodynamic flight components. Standard eddy viscosity models used in many commercial codes today do not capture the nonequilibrium effects seen in a separated flow and thus do not generally make accurate separation predictions. Part of the reason for this is that under nonequilibrium conditions such as a strong adverse pressure gradient, the history effects of the flow play an important role in the growth and decay of turbulence. More recent turbulence models such as Olsen and Coakley's Lag model and Lillard's lagRST model seek to simulate these effects by lagging the turbulent variables when nonequilibrium effects become important. The purpose of the current research is to assess how these nonequilibrium turbulence models capture the separated regions on various 2-D airfoils and 3-D wings. Nonequilibrium models including the Lag model and the lagRST model are evaluated in comparison with three baseline models (Spalart-Allmaras, Wilcox's k-omega, and Menter's SST) using a modified version of the OVERFLOW code. Tuning the model coefficients of the Lag and lagRST models is also explored. Results show that the various lagRST formulations display an improvement in velocity profile predictions over the standard RANS models, but have trouble capturing the edge of the boundary layer. Experimental separation location measurements were not available, but several trends are noted which may be useful to tuning the model coefficients in the future.