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Princeton Engineering’s Alexander Smits seems to have been popular among the media during the annual meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics, which took place last week in Minneapolis.

The Pioneer Press quotes Smits on the aerodynamics of golf balls, which he says are one of "the most remarkable products of the industrial age."

In another article intriguingly titled "Wind Turbines Take a Lesson from Lance Armstrong" by ScienceNOW Daily News, Smits comments on a plan for arranging wind turbines much like a school of fish — making them safer for migrating birds and reducing the amount of land they take up by 100-fold. Smits said the plan, co-devised by Princeton Engineering graduate John Dabiri, shows great promise. Here is more coverage from Discovery News, via MSNBC, and from the Mendo Coast Current.

By the way, Lex Smits is chief editor of, whose media gallery features visualizations of cutting-edge fluid mechanics research that happens to be mesmerizingly gorgeous. Above is a screen grab of a simulation of a "wake of a low aspect ratio pitching plate." Studying such wakes helps researchers better understand the mechanisms that fish use to propel themselves. This image/animation depicts research by Smits that was published in the Journal of Fluid Dynamics.

Just for fun, don’t miss Smits’ video of dolphins playing with with bubble rings or the parabolic liquid jets shooting out of holes in this plastic bottle.

In other news, one of Smits’ former graduate students, Beverley McKeon, now of Caltech, this fall received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. More about her research  on PhysOrg.