Fields of expertise
BiographyKaren Mulleners is an associate professor in the institute of mechanical engineering in the school of engineering at EPFL. She is the head of the unsteady flow diagnostics laboratory (UNFoLD). She is an experimental fluid dynamicist who focuses on unfolding the origin and development of unsteady flow separation and vortex formation. Karen studied physics in Belgium (Hasselt University, previously Limburgs Universitair Centrum) and the Netherlands (TU Eindhoven). She received her PhD in mechanical engineering from the Leibniz Universität Hannover in Germany in 2010 for her work on dynamic stall on pitching airfoils that she conducted as a member of the German aerospace centre (DLR) in Göttingen. Before joining EPFL in 2016, Karen was a (non-tenure track) assistant professor at the Leibniz Universität Hannover in Germany.
Research focusOur lab focuses on the investigation of unsteady vortex dominated flow phenomena. We combine high spatially and temporally resolved flow field measurements with – what we refer to as – a fluid dynamical differential diagnosis. We develop methodologies to help bridge the gap between our observations and understanding of the development and interaction of vortices and technically relevant quantities, such as aerodynamic forces or power output, with applications in biological and bio-inspired flight, wind turbine rotor blade aerodynamics, etc.
Teaching & PhD