Brad Perfect

G033 Mechanical Engineering BuildingExploring a particularly large crevasse on Mount Rainier University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2700




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Under certain conditions, vortex shedding inhabits this chaotic regime
A visualization of vortex shedding in the lee of a seamount.

As the sole representative from the Mechanical Engineering department, Brad brings a slightly different perspective and skillset to the EFM team. Brad’s research focuses on turbulent mixing in the ocean in the vicinity of underwater mountains. Turbulence in a rotating and stratified environment, such as the ocean, is an area of research with important unanswered questions from both a fundamental science perspective and for the broader application of climate modeling. By conducting numerical modeling of some of the processes that drive turbulent mixing, we can create awesome animations gain insight into how they affect the ocean as a whole.

As much as he would like to visit underwater mountains*, Brad spends most of his time modeling them on his computer. Sometimes he goes for a ride on the “Rotable,” an EFM heirloom that can be used for lab-scale experiments of underwater mountains.

Brad’s undergraduate training is in physics from Harvey Mudd College, and he has been advised by Professor James Riley in Mechanical Engineering since 2013. Since moving to Seattle, he has gradually been absorbed into the Pacific Northwest lifestyle. He now plays ultimate Frisbee, mountaineers, and has learned to love flannel and overhopped IPA’s.

*Underwater mountains would actually be extremely boring in person. They typically have very low-angled slopes, very slow currents, and while turbulent mixing looks amazing in a colorized plot, it’s almost completely invisible to the naked eye.