The vision of the Center for Renewable Energy and Aerodynamic Technology (CREATe) is to exploit the synergy between scientific advances in aerodynamics and acoustics, and engineering advances in renewable energy. The center was officially chartered by the university as a department level center in February 2014. It brings together 9 core faculty in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and 14 affiliate faculty in a range of departments. The Center’s administrative home is in 660 McBryde Hall.
Members of the center are engaged in a diverse range of research projects that focus on the fundamentals of aerodynamics and aeroacoustics and on applied problems, with particular application to wind energy. Many of these efforts emphasize student-centered research and involve collaborations with other universities and industry, both domestic and international. Many of these efforts involve use of the Virginia Tech Stability Wind Tunnel. The wind tunnel is a major aeroacoustic research facility in the US for flow acoustics and a global leader for the aerodynamic and aero-acoustic testing of wind turbine blade designs. A key theme of the wind tunnel and the center is incorporating state of the art research tools and research problems into the undergraduate curriculum.
Wind energy represents an extraordinary opportunity for Virginia Tech and the center. The growth of the wind energy industry is driving rapid innovation in science and technology in areas where Virginia Tech already has strengths and unique capabilities. We have growing wind energy research programs and, in the Stability Wind Tunnel, an internationally recognized facility for wind-energy related work. Virginia Tech is located in a state well positioned to take advantage of the impending deployment of offshore wind farms on the east coast, with high-tech industry and with the shipyards in Hampton Roads perfectly situated to manufacture and deploy wind turbines.