Pablo Carrica

Recipient of the 2018 College of Engineering Faculty Excellence Award for Research

Professor Carrica started as an Associate Research Engineer in IIHR in 2003, and joined the faculty in 2007.  Over the course of his career he has developed an internationally recognized research program in the areas of naval hydrodynamics, including both computational and experimental fluid dynamics, as well as bubbly flows.  

In the area of bubbly flows, Dr. Carrica has received funding for model and computational tool development, as well as for experiments to measure bubble concentration and size distribution in the wake of a ship, and determining how bubbles interact with the boundary layer resulting in bubble breakup and coalescence.  As a result of an NSF-funded project, he developed sapphire bubble detection probes to measure bubble concentration and size distribution.  Eight of those probes were sold to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in 2014.  

In the area of naval hydrodynamics, Dr. Carrica has made key contributions to the development of numerical tools to simulate flows around submarines and surface ships.  The research focuses on numerical techniques to perform simulation of moving bodies with controllers and autopilots.  This works has numerous applications on powering and resistance, propulsion, seakeeping and maneuvering of surface and underwater craft, and on control of autonomous vehicles.

Larry Weber writes, “Dr. Carrica is the originator of the REX CFD code which has become a well-known, highly-resolved, physics-based code capable of simulating the most complex single and multiphase flow conditions found throughout the naval hydrodynamic research and development community.  Through this work he has continued to broaden the base of the College of Engineering’s research funding and to enhance our reputation for high quality research and scholarship.”

Dr. Carrica’s work has been well-funded, with more than 30 projects and over $10 million in funding.  His scholarly writing has been prodigious with more than 90 refereed journal articles and numerous other publications.

He is currently on the editorial board of two of the most prestigious journals on naval hydrodynamics:  Journal of Marine Science and Technology and the Journal of Ship Research.

In addition to establishing his own highly successful research record, DEO Ching-Long Lin notes that Dr. Carrica has contributed to mentoring junior faculty in MIE.  He has collaborated with junior faculty on research projects and has helped others connect with sponsors.  This type of mentoring and support is critical and worthy of recognition, as it enables the success of other faculty members and the College as a whole.