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MAE Professor Pirouz Kavehpour was featured in a segment of an Inside Science documentary, the American Institute of Physics’ news service . The documentary titled “Fish, Feathers, Fluid, Phlegm and Freaks,” is about fluid dynamics research based on simple forms found in nature. Kavehpour’s segment is “Preening Penguins Inspire Ice Resistance,” which discusses his research into elimating ice build-up on planes by studying the cold-weather adaptations of penguins. His segment is between 4:30-6:44, a little over two minutes.

From the transcript:

“In general I’m an observer of nature; and when I was watching a documentary on PBS, there were a lot of penguins jumping in and out of water and splashing, there were a lot of droplets around. I was very curious that none of these droplets stick to their feathers, and it’s minus 40 degrees C outside but you don’t see any ice form on their feathers,” Kavehpour said.

“We are hoping to take this, to further study this, look at the different species as well as try to have a bio-mimicked, bio-inspired surfaces. Ice formation changes the profile of a surface. So for example, on airplane that can affect the drag and lift and actually may cause a lot of accident, a lot of money spent at the airports in winter time trying to de-ice the airplane, cause a lot of delays.”