Robert Whittlesey
Robert W. Whittlesey, Ph.D., P.E., CFEI
Senior Engineer
Thermal Sciences
  • Los Angeles

Dr. Whittlesey’s areas of expertise include fluid mechanics, heat transfer, thermodynamics, propulsion, and renewable energies such as wind energy. He has experience in conducting design review and siting for wind turbines, in addition to being a co-inventor on a patent in the area of wind energy. Furthermore, Dr. Whittlesey is an active member of two Underwriter Laboratories Standard Technical Panels covering large wind turbine generating systems (UL 6141) and small wind turbine generating systems (UL 6142).

Dr. Whittlesey is also an alternate member to the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Technical Committee of Industrial and Medical Gases. This committee is responsible for NFPA 51: Standard for the Design and Installation of Oxygen-Fuel Gas systems for Welding, Cutting, and Allied Processes, NFPA 55: Compressed Gases and Cryogenic Fluids Code, and NFPA 560: Standard for the Storage, Handling, and Use of Ethylene Oxide for Sterilization and Fumigation.

Dr. Whittlesey is experienced in using a combination of theory, experiments, and field measurements in order to analyze and predict fluid flows. As part of his graduate work, Dr. Whittlesey was a Research Assistant in the Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories at the California Institute of Technology. He worked on improving the efficiency of underwater vehicles, such as submarines, by manipulation of the vehicle wake. Previously, he also experimentally studied rotating stall in axial turbines, such as those used in the jet engines of aircraft and power cogeneration facilities.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2013
  • M.S., Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2009
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), 2008, summa cum laude
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), 2008, summa cum laude
  • Donald Coles Prize–Best Design of an Experiment, California Institute of Technology, 2013

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer, California, #M37348

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators

Fire Origin and Cause Determination (1A), California State Fire Marshal Course

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Certification (29 CFR 1910.120)

SCUBA Open Water Certified, NAUI, February 2010

Publications

Whittlesey RW, Dabiri JO. Optimal vortex formation in a self-propelled vehicle. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 2013; 737:78–104.

Whittlesey RW. Wake-based unsteady modeling of the aquatic beetle Dytiscus marginalis. Journal of Theoretical Biology 2011; 291:14–21.

Ruiz LA, Whittlesey RW, Dabiri JO. Vortex-enhanced propulsion. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 2011; 668:5–32.

Whittlesey RW, Liska S, Dabiri JO. Fish schooling as the basis for vertical axis wind turbine farm design. Bioinspiration and Biomechanics 2010; 5:035005.

Invited Presentations

Whittlesey RW. Optimal propulsive efficiency of vortex enhanced propulsion. Mechanical Engineering Graduate Seminar, Baylor University, November 4, 2013.

Whittlesey RW, Liska S, Dabiri JO. Innovative concepts: Fish schooling as a basis for vertical axis wind turbine farm design. New Energy Husum’s 1st World Summit on Small Wind Turbines, Husum, Germany, March 2010.

Presentations


Whittlesey RW, Dabiri JO. Optimal propulsive efficiency of vortex enhanced propulsion. 66th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, Pittsburgh, PA, November 24, 2013.

Whittlesey RW, Dabiri JO. Frequency spectrum and scale dependence of a propulsive self-excited vortex generator. 65th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, San Diego, CA, November 18, 2012.

Whittlesey RW, Dabiri JO. Total energetic efficiency of a propulsive self-excited vortex generator. Fluid & Elasticity 2012, November 14, 2012.

Whittlesey RW, Dabiri JO. Toward enhanced propulsive efficiency using a passive vortex generator. 29th Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics, Gothenburg, Sweden, August 2012.

Whittlesey RW, Dabiri, JO. Improving propulsive efficiency through passive mechanisms using a Starling vortex generator. 64th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, Baltimore, MD, November 22, 2011.

Whittlesey RW, Dabiri JO. Passively pulsed propulsion of aquatic vehicles. 63rd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, Long Beach, CA, November 23, 2010.

Whittlesey RW, Liska S, Dabiri JO. Fish schooling as a basis for vertical axis wind turbine farm design. 4th Southern California Symposium on Flow Physics, UC: Irvine, Irvine, CA, April 2010.

Whittlesey RW, Dabiri JO. Fish schooling as the basis for wind farm design. 62nd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics, Minneapolis, MN, November 2009.

Thiam A, Whittlesey RW, Wark CE, Williams DR. Corner separation and the onset of stall in an axial compressor. AIAA 38th Fluid Dynamics Conference, Seattle, WA, June 2008.


Patents

US Patent 8,545,168: A Two-Dimensional Array of Turbines, 2013 (Dabiri JO, Whittlesey RW).

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Member of Underwriters Laboratories Standards Technical Panel (STP) for UL 6141, Wind Turbine Generating Systems – Large

Member of Underwriters Laboratories Standards Technical Panel (STP) for UL 6142, Wind Turbine Generating Systems – Small

Alternate Member of National Fire Protection Association’s Technical Committee on Industrial and Medical Gases

National Association of Fire Investigators

American Physical Society

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2013
  • M.S., Aeronautics, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 2009
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), 2008, summa cum laude
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), 2008, summa cum laude
  • Donald Coles Prize–Best Design of an Experiment, California Institute of Technology, 2013

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer, California, #M37348

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators

Fire Origin and Cause Determination (1A), California State Fire Marshal Course

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Certification (29 CFR 1910.120)

SCUBA Open Water Certified, NAUI, February 2010