Researcher

Dr Bianca Capra

Fields of Research (FoR)

Hypersonic Propulsion and Hypersonic Aerodynamics, Fluidisation and Fluid Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering, Computational Heat Transfer

Biography

Bianca is an aerospace engineer working working in the field of aerothermodynamics of high-speed flight. Her research interests include:

  • The study of the effect of hot walls on the flow in and around high speed vehicles, focusing on the changes to key fluid mechanics features, such as mechanisms for mixing and mass transport and the state of the boundary layer
  • Hot wall experimental testing in hypersonic wind tunnels
  • Modelling and prediction...view more

Bianca is an aerospace engineer working working in the field of aerothermodynamics of high-speed flight. Her research interests include:

  • The study of the effect of hot walls on the flow in and around high speed vehicles, focusing on the changes to key fluid mechanics features, such as mechanisms for mixing and mass transport and the state of the boundary layer
  • Hot wall experimental testing in hypersonic wind tunnels
  • Modelling and prediction of ablation in high speed flight
  • Mechanisms for improving participation and engagement of minority groups in STEM and aerospace engineering in particular. 

Bianca has attracted over $1.5M of funding for this research. She has over 11 years’ experience in the higher education sector and is a strong advocate for promoting and supporting gender equity in STEM and particularly aerospace related areas. Bianca is currently the co-chair UNSW Canberra's YoWIE (Young Women In Engineering) program, chair the Women in Fluid Mechanics  and Outreach sub-committees of the Australasian Fluids Mechanics Society, an STA Superstar of STEM, STEM Coordinator for Women in Aviation Australian Chapter and the Cool Aeronautics coordinator of the Canberra Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society. 

Bianca holds both a bachelor's degree and Ph.D in aerospace engineering from the University of Queensland, a Graduate certificate in Academic Practice from the Queensland University of Technology and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society. 


My Grants

Selected research funding

2021

  • Capra, Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellowship, AUD43,000 (1 year)
  • Neely, Capra, Kleine, Buttsworth. Fluid-thermal-structural iterations on high-speed aerospace vehicles, ARC DP210100561, AUD480,000 (3 years)
  • Neely et al, Fluid-thermal-structural interactions on high-speed flight and propulsion, NCI NCMAS 1000kSU

2020

  • Neely, O’Byrne, CapraHypersonic Aerosciences and Advanced Diagnostics (Phase 1), DST Collaborative Project Agreement. AUD1,171,000 (2 years)
  • O’Byrne, Neely, Gai, Kleine, Capra, Currao, McQuellin, Measuring the influence of wall-temperature ratio distribution on transition using optical diagnostics, US Air Force Academy High-speed Vehicles Simulation Institute.  AUD637,000 (3 years)
  • Neely, Tyo, Hazell, Capra, O’Byrne, Escobedo-Diaz, Kleine, Currao, Liow, High-Speed IR Thermographic Camera, UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme (RSI). AUD137,000 (1 year)
  • Neely, Currao, CapraFluid-thermal-structural interactions for high-speed flight and propulsion,  NCI NCMAS + Intersect. 500kSU (equivalent to AUD20,000)
  • Capra, Hot wall Cavity Flow, UNSW Canberra Rectors Start-up Grant, AUD50,000 (2 years)
  • Vaughn, Boyce, Tahtali, Capra, Lambert, Lorrain, Kurtz, Multi-purpose vacuum chamber upgrade for thermo-mechanical testing of spacecraft, optical and other advanced technologies under thermal loads, UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme (RSI), AUD23,398 (1 year)

2019 

  • Gai, Neely, O'Byrne, Kleine, CapraWall Temperature and Bluntness Effects in High Enthalpy Hypervelocity Separated Flows, USAF AFOSR FA2386-19-1-4023. AUD217,000 (3 years)
  • Neely, Young, Kleine, Capra, Gai, Tian, Hoke, Lai, Digital Image Correlation Software Suite, UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme (RSI), AUD35,000 (1 year)
  • Capra, Neely, O'Byrne, Hald, Effect of targeted thermal energy on hot hypersonic structures, Northrup Grumman Australia, AUD22,800 (1 year)

2015

  • Morgan et alRadiation and Ablation in Rapidly Expanding Flows, ARC DP150100631, AUD503,400 (3 years)

 


My Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy (Aerospace Engineering) - 2007 - The University of Queensland

Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Space) Honours Class I - 2001 - The University of Queensland

Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice - 2016 - Queensland University of Technology

 


My Awards

  • 2021 Spitfire Memorial Defense Fellow
  • Science and Technology Superstars of STEM (2019)
  • Vice Chancellor's Performance Award for Research (2015)
  • Winner Research Innovation and Supervision Award (Internationalisation) Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, UQ (2013)
  • Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship (2005 and 2004)

My Research Activities

Bianca's research interests are in the broad field of thermo-fluids and fluid-structural interaction, with specific applications to aerospace and high-speed flight. Bianca currently performs research in the following areas:

  • Use of porous ceramic structures in hypersonic flow
  • Thermal-structrual response of composites in hypersonic flow
  • Fluid-Structrual Interaction at hypersonic speeds
  • Fluid dynamics of cavity flows in supersonic flows
  • Aerothermodynamics of entry vehicles
  • Experimental hypersonics

Current Ph.D research topics available:

  • Flame holding in supersonic flow
  • Use of porous structures for boundary layer control in hypersonic flow
  • Ablation Modelling and testing
  • Hypersonic hot wall testing
  • Fluid-thermal-structural interactions in supersonic flow

My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

Current PhD topics available include:

  • Flame holding in supersonic flow
  • Use of ceramic material for boundary layer control in high speed flow
  • Thermal-structural interactions in aerospace structures and devices
  • Thermal stressing of materials in high speed flow

Currently supervising

Current Research Student Supervision

Student Degree Year (start) Topic
Kaiser Al Shami PhD 2020 Gas Turbine Thermal Rotor Bow
Zacharia Tuten PhD 2020 Fluid-Thermal-Structural Interactions in High-Speed Flows Over a Flat Plate
Jeremy Moran MRes 2019

Numerical and Experimental Techniques for Quantifying Energy Deposition Effects on Representative Hypersonic Vehicle Structures (Under Examination)

 

Graduated Research Students

Student Degree Year Topic Currently
Sudip Bhattrai PhD 2021 Hypersonic Fluid-Structure Interaction in the Presence of Axial Pressure Gradients Assistant Professor of Aerospace Science and Engineering, DMAE Institute of Engineering, Nepal
Dr Sarah Omrani PhD 2018 Natural ventilation in high-rise apartments in hot-humid climates Lecture in Visual Design and Construction, Queensland University of Technology
Ms Mahsa Seifhashemi MRes 2015 Impact of Cool Roof Application on Commercial Buildings: A Contribution to Sustainable Design in Australia Digital Architecture Technician, University of Salford

 

 


My Engagement

Bianca is heavily engaged within the UNSW Canberra and Australian Fluid Mechanics communities and in STEM Outreach.

Bianca's engagement activities include:

  • Co-Chair of UNSW Canberra's YoWIE (Young Women in Engineering) Program
  • Vice President of the Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society
  • Chair of the Women in Fluid Mechanics Subcommittee of the Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society
  • Chair of the Outreach Subcommittee of the Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society
  • Committee member of the UNSW Canberra EDI Committee
  • Member of the UNSW Athena Swan Self Assessment Team
  • Member of the UNSW Canberra Family Network Committee
  • Science & Technology Australia Superstar of STEM
  • STEM Coordinator, Women in Aviation Australian Chapter
  • Vice Chair Canberra Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Cool Aeronautics Coordinator for Canberra Branch

My Teaching

Bianca is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

She currently coordinates and  teaches into the following courses

ZEIT2500 Thermofluids 

ZEIT4503 Advanced thermodynamics and Propulsion


Bianca also has experience teaching into the following areas:

  • Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning

  • Heat and Mass Transfer 

  • Engineering Mechanics

  •  Engineering Sustainability and Professional Practice

  • Fluid Mechanics

  • Hypersonics

  • Final year thesis / project supervision

View less