The Engineer's Impact - Kelly Ogden

Your inside look at faculty’s research and its effect on society

In this new Q&A series, we’ll feature Western Engineering faculty members to gain a succinct overview of their research, understand its impact on society, and discover intriguing little-known facts.

Our latest feature is mechanical and materials engineering assistant professor Kelly Ogden.

ogden-300x425.pngCan you describe your research?

My group studies the causes and effects of mixing in stratified environmental flows. Temperature and salt in coastal waters result in fluid layers of different densities, which allow waves to occur within the water, as well as at the surface. We seek to understand mixing caused by these waves, and other similar phenomena, in coastal flows.

How does your research impact society in everyday life?

Canada’s extensive coastlines affect society through serious events such as erosion, flooding, and contaminant spread. Energy dissipation in coastal waters affects the amount of available tidal energy, while mixing affects water properties and biological productivity. Understanding how and where mixing occurs, and how it might change as coastal conditions change, will allow development of accurate predictions and mitigation strategies against these events.

What’s an interesting, little-known fact related to your research?

This research matters in Ontario too; density variation due to temperature affects the Great Lakes.