Duke University | Pratt School of Engineering

Fanny M. Besem

Fanny is a third year Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University.

Born and raised in Belgium, she graduated with distinction from the University of Liège in 2010 with a B.A.Sc. in Mechanics and Physics. After graduation, she felt an urge to explore the world, and took part in the first batch of the THRUST international master program. She received an education at the frontier between industry and academia that raised her awareness of real-life issues in engine design. She graduated from the Royal Institute of Technology in 2011 with an M.S., and graduated a year later from Duke University with an M.Eng., both in Mechanical Engineering.

Fanny’s research focuses on non-synchronous vibration and forced response in turbomachinery. Advised by Dr. Robert Kielb, she develops CFD-based tools and guidelines to predict the occurrence of these dangerous phenomena during the design phase of airplane engines.

In her free time, Fanny likes to do all kind of sports, including snowboarding and skiing, when weather permits. She competed with the Duke Ski and Board team in the SouthEastern Conference in 2012. She also recently completed her first half-marathon in less than two hours.

Graduate Research Topics

  • POD Decomposition for Vortex Induced Vibrations Around a CylinderFor a certain range of Reynolds numbers, flow passing by a cylinder will lead to a fluid dynamic instability, often referred to as von Karman vortices. These alternating, shedding vortices cause unsteady forces on the surface of the cylinder, which tend to make the cylinder oscillate; a phenomenon called "vortex-induced vibrations".
  • Forced Response Analyses of a 3.5 Stage Axial Flow Compressor: Forced response is one of the main aeroelastic challenges when designing compressor blades. This project uses a harmonic balance CFD code to analyze a 3.5 stage compressor. The results are compared against experimental data from a high-speed, rotating rig located at Purdue University.