Bodony Becomes Blue Waters Associate Professor


AE Associate Prof. Daniel J. Bodony
AE Associate Prof. Daniel J. Bodony
Aerospace Engineering at Illinois faculty member Daniel J. Bodony has been designated a Blue Waters Associate Professor and will gain significant access to one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world.

Blue Waters is the sustained 11+ petaflop computer supported by the National Science Foundation and located on the University of Illinois Urbana campus. The award allocates to Bodony up to 240,000 node-hours per year, roughly 3.9 million core-module hours, on the supercomputer. The designation enables Bodony to be an ambassador for computational science and engineering at the leading edge of computer technologies. He will participate in Blue Waters presentations, conferences and workshops, and training and mentoring of students and others in computational science, as well as represent the facility on the national scene.

As part of his allocation, Bodony will work on the project, “Reducing Jet Aircraft Noise by Harnessing the Hetergeneous XK Nodes on Blue Waters.” According to Bodony, hearing loss resulting from noise pollution accounts for nearly $1 billion annually in military health care. “The main source of aircraft generated noise is the jet engine exhaust, where the unsteady motion of the engine’s exhaust gases generates sound,” Bodony said. “The conceptual challenge of reducing turbulent jet noise is immense: the fundamental flow is turbulent and we, as a scientific community, do not understand how a turbulent flow generates sound.”

Without a guiding theory, reducing aircraft noise has been left to trial-and-error experiments and, more recently, simulations. The turbulence-induced sound is generated over a very large region leading to a multi-scale nonlinear fluid dynamics problem where the relevant energy is contained over six-to-ten decades of spatial and temporal scales. Simulations that capture the full range of spatial and temporal scales are beyond current computing capacity but remain the best hope for quieter aircraft. 

“A paradigm shift in computational science, enabled by the XK nodes on Blue Waters, is desperately needed to advance the fields of compressible turbulence and aeroacoustics to reduce the noise from jet aircraft,” Bodony believes.

His project will impact three critical areas:

  • Bodony and his students will develop power-efficient, high-performance scientific codes that can run across thousands of heterogeneous XK nodes. The codes will direct exascale emerging programming models and numerical algorithms compatible with forthcoming hardware heterogeneity and complexity.
  • The scale of Blue Waters will enable the largest simulations of compressible turbulent jet noise ever that will advance the science of flow-generated sound through carefully conducted simulations and guided post-processing of the 100s-1000s of terabytes of data generated.
  • The researchers will develop new engine nozzle designs to reduce turbulent jet noise and improve the quality of life of airport communities and military personnel.