Logo for the FPI lab

The Flow Physics and Imaging Laboratory is dedicated to answering fundamental questions about the physics of turbulent fluid flows, primarily by employing advanced imaging diagnostics. We are interested in flows over a wide range of Mach numbers, from subsonic to hypersonic, and over a wide range of spatial scales, from microscopic flows to planetary atmospheric flows. We apply a wide range of imaging tools and techniques, including high-speed and background-oriented schlieren visualization, stereoscopic PIV, and laser-induced fluorescence, just to name a few.

On the image processing side of things, we apply wavelet and spectral analysis, principal component analysis, optical flow velocimetry, and other methods to extract meaningful quantitative and qualitative information from our experimental images to deepen our understanding of all sorts of interesting flow phenomena.

Meet our Team

Postdoctoral Scholars

Syam S headshot

Syam S

Syam is a postdoctoral scholar in the Case School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). He received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur), West Bengal, India. Before joining CWRU, he worked as a research assistant in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT Kharagpur. At CWRU, his research focuses on the influence of aerosols and particulates on hypersonic boundary layer transition. His research interests include experimental fluid mechanics, hypersonic boundary layer transition, shock-droplet interaction, flow visualization, laser ignition of atomized fuel-air mixtures, and droplet combustion. He loves to listen to vocal and instrumental music in his free time, especially Hindustani and Carnatic music.

PhD Students

Nick Mejia headshot

Nicholas (Nick) Mejia

Nicholas Mejia is a fourth-year PhD candidate in Aerospace Engineering. His research interests include high speed fluids and shock wave phenomena. Previously, his research projects have included comparing flight test data to blade element momentum theory based quadrotor control algorithms, investigating supersonic torpedo shockwaves, and supersonic retropropulsion. He is currently continuing research on supersonic retropropulsion, a potential enabling technology for human Mars landings.


Joshua Smith headshot

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith is a third-year PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering. He received his MS from Miami University where he studied thermal panel buckling under hypersonic conditions. Prior to CWRU, Joshua spent several years in industry in Akron performing thermal-fluid analysis for various mechanical systems. He has interest in research pertaining to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of supersonic, multi-phase, and/or combusting flows. Outside of engineering, Joshua is active in his church and enjoys playing guitar, attending trivia nights, and biking.


Abdulaziz Al Refaie headshot

Abdulaziz (Abdul) Alrefaie

Abdul is a third-year PhD student in Mechanical Engineering. He received his MS from the University of Toledo, and his research interests include flow visualization with background oriented schlieren imaging. Outside of academics and research he enjoys water sports including swimming and scuba diving. Abdul has been practicing scuba diving since 2014, and is a certified master scuba diver.


Gauresh Jassal headshot

Gauresh Jassal

Gauresh is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering at Case. As a kid growing up in India, he got so annoyed with insects and birds that he vowed to take revenge on them by mastering their gift of flight. This vow combined with his proclivity for 'playing' with things led him to spend his undergrad years studying Aerospace Engineering in China, where his interest in flight translated into an obsession with Fluid Dynamics, which has now become his Paradise Lost. His interests include everything pertaining to the flow of quantities, but he has a very strong interest in Turbulence, which he hopes to tame. He enjoys cooking a very restrictive personal cuisine based on his annoying nitpicky eating habits, playing acoustic guitar, writing short stories, learning new cool math, building things, freaking himself out over irrelevant philosophical issues, and being outdoorsy when he's in the mood.

Matthew Sendrey headshot

Matthew Sendrey

Matthew Sendrey is a first-year PhD student in Aerospace Engineering. He received his BS from the University of Mount Union where he majored in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. His previous undergraduate research focused on laminar and turbulent flows in Hele-Shaw Cells. His research interests include hypersonic flow conditions and high speed propulsion. For fun, Matthew plays in two men's soccer leagues, plays golf and volleyball, and is a big baseball fan, his favorite being the Cleveland Guardians.

Masters Students

Max Song headshot

Max Song

Max is a second year Aerospace and Mechanical engineering Masters student from Beijing, China. Receiving an early influence from his engineer grandparents, Max maintained a strong enthusiasm in machinery and everything aerospace. This resulted in his interest in studying the fundamental sciences behind flight. Benefiting from his experience in photography, Max has been focusing on imaging devices and their applications in fluid research. Holding a private pilot's license and an instrument rating, Max spends some of his free time flying while pursuing a commercial rating. Also worth mentioning, after a winter of pure dedication and hard work, Max learned how to finger snap, although he still couldn't whistle.


David Walker headshot

David Walker

David Walker is a second year Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Masters student from Yellow Springs, Ohio. Growing up near Dayton and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the legacy and impact of the Wright Brothers directly motivated David’s early interest in flight. When combined with his fascination with space, he found himself itching to learn more about the field of aerospace. At CWRU, David is an active member of the Case Rocket Team, works on various engineering projects, plays a variety of sports, and enjoys watching and discussing film with his friends. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in propulsion engineering.

Justin Jou headshot

Justin Jou

Justin is a first year Aerospace Engineering Masters student from Queens, New York. His research interests include flow visualization with background oriented schlieren imaging, and he is contributing to the implementation of BOS imaging in the medical field. Outside of research, Justin enjoys spending his spare time listening to music and playing video games with friends.