A primary objective of the VEKOP 2.3.3-15 project proposal system is to establish and strengthen national and international connections (“internationalization, networking”) by infrastructure development. Our project proposal aims to achieve networking already at its foundations: the wind tunnel model experimental method, which is primarily used by mechanical engineers in Hungary, will be provided to those practicing architectural and civil engineering as well, which fosters internal networking between the Faculties of the University. The researchers at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Faculty of Architecture will be the supervisors of the research topics and users of the wind tunnel, while the researchers at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering will be the supervisors of the wind tunnel and the internal research service providers.
Strengthening national relationships
On top of the goals mentioned above, the project gives a chance to create and strengthen relationships with numerous national institutions. The interdisciplinary, cross-university collaborations of the Theodore von Kármán Wind Tunnel Laboratory is a proof of this. We have developed a UAV velocity measurement probe with the Department of Meteorology at Eötvös Loránd University, a multi-scale air pollution model system with the Hungarian Meteorological Service, and worked with the Department of Climatology and Landscape Ecology at University of Szeged on modelling the forming of heat islands. The Atmospheric Flow Laboratory opens up new possibilities for collaboration, not only in the area of natural sciences (as it has been the case so far), but in civil engineering and architecture as well.
However, in terms of national relationships, it is even more important to strengthen R&D services towards industrial companies. The wind tunnel laboratory has conducted measurements for Bosch, General Electric, NIF, OTP Real Estate, Trigranit and multiple city councils. Lots of times the wind tunnel investigations provided a very large added value to the industrial partners, thereby to the national economy as well. To name an example, the construction costs of the roof structure of the Nagyerdei Stadium in Debrecen (2012) were reduced by approximately 70 million HUF due to the the wind tunnel investigation carried out for 3 million HUF. We are planning to popularize the services of the new laboratory in the national trade press and conferences, by informing the potential external partners (design offices, environmental protection companies, city councils) about the possibilities provided by the wind tunnel.
The participating investigators of the project proposal hope to further strengthen their already significant international connections due to the new, internationally competitive infrastructure. Several of the participating investigators have done research in prestigious institutions abroad through international scholarships (e.g. Dr. Dezső Hegyi – CalTech, Space Structure Laboratory) and took part in international research programmes (Dr. Márton Balczó – COST 732 and ES1006). Only the existing relationships and the ones currently in preparation or formation are listed below:
- Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Hydromechanics, Laboratory of Building and Environmental Aerodynamics: The new wind tunnel offers possibilities to prepare joint publications and invite the German partner’s PhD students for a few months of research in Hungary. This opportunity is rooted in the formal collaboration which started with the DAAD Ostpartnerschaften project in 2016.
- University of Hamburg, Meteorological Institute, Meteorological Institute, Environmental Wind Tunnel Laboratory: the so-far informal relationship, the joint participation in the COST 732 and COST ES1006 programmes, and the sending of a Hungarian PhD student are all good foundations for further collaboration. The main objective is to hold consultations about the plans for the new wind tunnel, to get to know the exemplary measurement techniques used at the Hamburg wind tunnel, and to carry out comparison measurements.
- University of Palermo, Department of Civil, Environmental, Aerospatial and Material Engineering: we are planning to expand the already existing collaboration in the research of the internal boundary layer above the water surface by adding laboratory measurements to the field and numerical investigations performed so far.
- ÉMI nKft. has offered the wind tunnel laboratory of BME to its Algerian partner institution (CNERIB) for the wind tunnel investigations of the representative state building complexes planned there. The new wind tunnel would have a key role in securing this opportunity.