Guillermo Araya, PhD

Guillermo Araya, PhD

Principal Investigator

Dr. Guillermo Araya is a tenured Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering (Instituto Universitario Aeronautico, Argentina) and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (UPRM). After completing his Ph.D. degree in Aeronautical Engineering in August 2008 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY), he joined the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD) as a Postdoctoral Fellow under the supervision of Prof. Charles Meneveau. He was also a Research Assistant at Swansea University (Wales, UK) from 2009 to 2011 and a Research Assistant Professor at the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering in Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX) from 2011 to 2015. Dr. Araya was an Assistant/Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM) from 09/2015 to 12/2022. His research interests include computational fluid dynamics of turbulent flows and heat transfer, algorithm development, high performance computing, and scientific visualization; particularly, for fundamental thermal-fluid research with applications to aerospace. Dr. Araya has been recipient of research grants from NSF-CAREER, AFOSR, NSF, NASA, ONR, and General Electric. He has authored and co-authored about seventy journal and refereed conference papers.

Current Members

Odai Natsheh

Odai Natsheh

Undergraduate Research Assistant (2024, Present)

Odai is a senior undergraduate student at the University of Texas at San Antonio pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a computer science minor along with the Aerospace Engineering certificate. He is working to further research in understanding compressibility effects on the budget of the momentum & energy equations in turbulent boundary layers using special numerical techniques such as Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes RANS) and Favre-averaged Navier Stokes (FANS) equations. Odai is scheduled to graduate in May 2024.

Joseph Rutherford

Joseph Rutherford

PhD Teaching/Research Assistant (2024, Present)

Joseph attended The University of Tennessee, Knoxville where in 2023 he earned his B.S in Aerospace Engineering with an honors concentration. At the University of Tennessee, he worked as an undergraduate researcher under Dr. Uday Vaidya focused on Carbon-Carbon composites for hypersonic applications. He joined the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2024 for his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Combs and Dr. Guillermo Araya working on analyzing high-speed crossflow jets.

Matthew Holland

Matthew Holland

Masters Research Assistant (2023, Present)

Matthew earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University in May 2020, with a minor in Aerospace Engineering. After graduation, he went on to work on Dynetics’ HLS program, at Hermeus, and at Southwest Research Institute. Matthew is a research assistant in the lab focusing on CFD database post-processing, turbulence statistics, and effects from recycled domains. He is working on his Master’s in Mechanical Engineering, focusing on turbulent boundary layer analysis via DNS/LES.

Akshay Kulshrestha

Akshay Kulshrestha

Masters Research Assistant (2023, Present)

Akshay attained his bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from Rajasthan Technical University (India) in 2014. He held the position of Software Engineer at various firms for approximately over five years. Presently, he is doing a master’s in Computer Science at the University of Texas at San Antonio. During his time at the university, he is focusing on data analytics and visualization in AR and VR in his research endeavors.

Brandon Antron

Brandon Antron

Undergraduate Research Assistant (2023, Present)

Brandon has been an Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Computational Turbulence and Visualization Lab (CTV Lab) since March 2023. He is a full-time student at UTSA, pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. His future plans involve obtaining a Masters in Aerospace Engineering, specializing in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Hypersonic Boundary Layer Research. During the summer of 2023, he interned at StandardAero working on RB211 engines and conducted an independent study under Dr. Araya. Brandon is scheduled to graduate in the Fall of 2024.

Christian J. Lagares

Christian J. Lagares

PhD Research Assistant (2019, Present)

Christian received his B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in 2019. Christian is a PhD Student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. From 2015 through 2017, he performed numerical analysis of experimental data obtained from highly-loaded composite materials. From 2017 through 2018, he performed applied research on the detection of micro-bubbles using artificial intelligence techniques. In 2016, he performed an internship for GE Aviation as part of the EID program. He also conducted applied research as part of the US Government during 2017 as part of a 6-month COOP experience and during the 2019 summer period. He joined the HPCVL in spring of 2019 where his current research includes large-scale, direct numerical simulations (DNS) of supersonic/hypersonic, spatially-developing turbulent boundary layers (SDTBL) at high Reynolds numbers and the development of massively parallel DNS post-processing algorithms (Aquila-CFD) tailored for heterogenous, distributed-memory computing environments. As an undergraduate, he received the PR-LSAMP scholarship for his work studying compressibility effects of a supersonic SDTBL via DNS. He is an NSF Bridge to the Doctorate Fellow, and his PhD research is aimed at advanced turbulence modeling in hypersonic flows subject to very strong curvatures via DNS-data-driven methods and physics-informed Machine Learning. He received his Doctoral Candidacy in April 2020. Christian was awarded the prestigious 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF), the project title is “Towards advanced turbulence modelling in reacting hypersonic flows and complex geometries via Direct Numerical Simulation and Machine Learning.” Currently, he is a research volunteer at the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at UTSA.

David Paeres

David Paeres

MSc Research Assistant (2020, Present)

David received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez in May 2020 and December 2022, respectively. In spring of 2020, David joined High Performance Computing & Visualization Lab Team as an Undergraduate Research Assistant, where he assumed the responsibility of large-scale, direct numerical simulations (DNS) data post-processing and visual representation using Virtual Reality. Since he joined the team, he has worked on continuously optimizing the Virtual Wind Tunnel by improving data manipulation within the visualization process for subjects like: spatially-developing turbulent boundary layers (SDTBL) subject to very strong favorable pressure gradient (FPG), and Large Eddy Simulation (LES) for SDTBLs subject to strong concave-convex surfaces to study flow separation. From 2016 through 2019, David was member of Aero Design RUM-Air Team where besides reaching Team Captain position in his last year, he also achieved collective top-places awards in every yearly international competition. David also had Engineering Internship/Co-op experiences in aerospace industry with Collins Aerospace and Honeywell Aerospace. Currently, he is a research engineer at Raytheon (Tucson, AZ) and a research volunteer at the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at UTSA.

Miguel A. Ramirez

Miguel A. Ramirez

PhD Research Assistant (2018, Present)

Miguel received his B.S. in Sciences of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Turabo in 2014 and his M.S. in Science of Mechanical Engineering with Specialization in Renewable Energy at the University of Turabo in 2018. At the University of Turabo Heat Transfer Conduction Energy Laboratory, his research involved the investigation of Experimental Study of the Cooling Capacity in a Solar Thermoelectric Generator. He joined the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus (RUM), in 2018 and is currently researching DNS of Supersonic/Hypersonic Spatially-Developing Turbulent Boundary Layers (STDBL) Subject to Surface Curvature (Concave and Convex Walls).
Sean Garnsey

Sean Garnsey

Student Web Volunteer (2022, Present)

Sean joined the CTV Lab in Fall 2022 as a student volunteer to aid with development and maintenance of the CTV lab website.

When not working with Dr. Araya on website matters, Sean conducts research within the Multifunctional Electronics Materials and Devices Researcher Laboratory. Sean is pursuing a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.

Former Members

German G. Saltar

German G. Saltar

Undergraduate Research Assistant (2018, Present)

German is a senior undergraduate honor student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus. From 2015 to 2018 he was involved in compressor cascade boundary layer research. He was an EID Coop intern in GE Aviation at the Early Identification Program during 2016 and 2017. In 2018, he pursued a summer internship at the Goddard Space Flight Center in camera boresight metrology uncertainty reduction for the NASA’s Restore-L space flight project. More recently, German has been awarded the NASA-John Mather Nobel Scholarship and the 2018-2019 NASA PR Space Grant Fellowship. Currently, he is interested in studying the Lagrangian coherent motions emanating from crossflow jets.
Jean C. Santiago

Jean C. Santiago

Undergraduate Research Assistant (2018, Present)

Jean is currently a senior undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. His work in undergraduate research involves visualization of turbulent events in wall-bounded flows via virtual reality. He joined HPCVL in Spring of 2018 and his research interests include scientific visualization and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).
Manuel E. Santiago

Manuel E. Santiago

Undergraduate Research Assistant (2018, Present)

Manuel is a senior undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez campus. He is a member of the honor society Tau Beta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi.  His work in undergraduate research involves high-order statistics of spatially-developing turbulent boundary layers and the development of C++ code for managing/reading an extensive database of Direct Numerical Simulation. He joined HPCVL in the Spring of 2018.
Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres

Undergraduate Research Assistant (2017, Present)

Gabriel is a senior undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus. In 2015, he contributed to the construction of the ASME (UPRM) wind tunnel. In 2016, Gabriel started researching algorithms for scientific flow visualization under the supervision of Dr. Araya. Most recently, in 2017, Gabriel received the PR-LSAMP scholarship for his research on high-order statistics of spatially-developing turbulent boundary layers. In addition, Gabriel is a member of Idea Platform student base organization and has experience with rapid prototyping tools and entrepreneurship concepts.
Carlos Quiñones

Carlos Quiñones

MSc Research Assistant (2016, 2018)

Born in Yauco, Puerto Rico. Carlos has always had an interest in mechanical engineering, especially in the fluid dynamics/aerodynamics aspects. It helps that his father was a military pilot so he was constantly surrounded by fantastic flying machines which drove him head long to Mechanical Engineering. Currently, he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at UPRM in the field of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). His graduate research is based on a very fundamental, but still not well understood turbulence problem: the jet in a crossflow. This fluid dynamics problem can be found in several aerospace applications, such us film cooling or fuel combustion. The acquired knowledge on the transport phenomena and coherent structures in crossflow jets will permit a more efficient design of aircraft engines. He is currently a CFD Engineer at General Motors.
Ernie Rivera

Ernie Rivera

Undergraduate Research Assistant (2017, 2018)

Ernie received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in May 2018, from the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. He worked under the supervision of with Prof. Guillermo Araya in turbulent boundary layer of supersonic and hypersonic flows subject to concave and convex surfaces by using a RANS approach. He is currently employed by NAVAIR as a Mechanical Engineer.
Daniel Rodriguez

Daniel Rodriguez

Undergraduate Research Assistant (2016, 2017)

Daniel received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus in 2017. During his undergraduate years researching at the HPCV Laboratory, he created an algorithm to visualize Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) data of boundary layers in the quasi-laminarization process in a fully immersive environment or Virtual Reality. He is currently working for General Motors as a CAE engineer.