CNCS Center for Nonlinear and Complex Systems
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Laurens E. Howle, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Director of Graduate Studies

Laurens E. Howle

Professor Howle's research interests span the disciplines of thermal science, fluid dynamics, and nonlinear dynamics. His present research projects - visualization of convective fluid patterns, stabilization of the no-motion state in free convection and bifurcation in imperfect or distributed parameter systems - are split evenly between experimental and computational methods.

A key problem facing researchers studying convection in fluid-saturated porous media is the lack of a general, non-invasive method for pattern visualization and wave number measurement. Professor Howle designed innovative porous media which allow optical techniques to be used for the first time as a pattern visualization tool in the study of porous media convection.

Computational spectral methods are efficient methods of simulation of small aspect ratio convection systems. For large problems, these methods can become too expensive to be practical. Professor Howle developed a reduced Galerkin method which decreases the execution time by orders of magnitude for large problems. This extends the range of problems for which certain spectral methods may be used. He is currently studying porous free convection in systems with distributed properties and binary convection using the reduced Galerkin method.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  225 Hudson Eng Ctr
Office Phone:  (919) 660-5331, (919) 660-5366
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2015):

  • ME 321L.001, ME ANALYSIS FOR DESIGN Synopsis
    Hudson 125, MF 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
  • ME 321L.01R, ME ANALYSIS FOR DESIGN Synopsis
    Hudson 125, M 03:05 PM-04:20 PM
  • ME 321L.02R, ME ANALYSIS FOR DESIGN Synopsis
    Hudson 125, M 04:40 PM-05:55 PM

PhDDuke University1993
MSDuke University1991
BSEDuke University1989

Chaos, Dynamics
Nonlinear Dynamics
Fluid Mechanics
Nonlinear Systems
Research Interests:

Thermal science, fluid dynamics, and nonlinear dynamics

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Weber, Paul W. and Howle, Laurens E. and Murray, Mark M. and Miklosovic, David S., Computational Evaluation of the Performance of Lifting Surfaces with Leading-Edge Protuberances, JOURNAL OF AIRCRAFT, vol. 48 no. 2 (March, 2011), pp. 591--600, ISSN 0021-8669 [doi]  [abs]
  2. Weber, Paul W. and Howle, Laurens E. and Murray, Mark M. and Corless, Joseph M., A Simplified Mass-Transfer Model for Visual Pigments in Amphibian Retinal-Cone Outer Segments, BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL, vol. 100 no. 3 (February, 2011), pp. 525--534, ISSN 0006-3495 [doi]  [abs]
  3. Fish, F.E., Weber, P.W., Howle, L.E., Murray, M.M., Reidenberg, J.S., Hydrodynamic performance of the flippers of large-bodied cetaceans, Secondary Adaptation of Tetrapods to Life in Water (2011)
  4. Fish, F.E., Weber, P.W., Murray, M.M. & Howle, L.E., The Tubercles on Humpback Whales' Flippers: Application of Bio-Inspired Technology, Integrative and Comparative Biology, vol. 51 (2011), pp. 203-213  [abs]
  5. Di Muro, G., Howle, L.E. & Vann, R.D., Partitioned risk analysis of NAVY decompression dives (December 10, 2010), pp. 818, NAVSEA