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Joana Rocha

“My #AeroPassion is aeroacoustics, aircraft design for noise reduction, turbulence modeling, wind-tunnel testing.”
Joana's Biography

Dr. Joana Rocha joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in July 2012. She has a Ph.D. and a M.A.Sc. in aerospace from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and a B.A.Sc in Aerospace Engineering from the Air Force Academy and Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal. In 2010 she was a Visiting Researcher at NASA Langley Research Centre, in Virginia, USA. Prof. Joana Rocha research focus areas of aero- acoustics, turbulent flow modelling, wind tunnel testing, aircraft noise prediction and aircraft design optimization aiming at noise reduction. She has been motivated to work in aerospace and fascinated with aircraft since an early phase of her life.

I am a Faculty Member at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University. My time at work is divided among the following three main tasks: teaching, research and administrative duties. Since joining Carleton University, in July 2012, I have been involved in teaching several courses, including Aeroacoustics, Introduction to Engineering, Aerospace Materials and Biomaterials. Research works mainly focus analytical modelling for aircraft noise prediction, wind tunnel testing of aircraft structures, turbulence modeling, aircraft design for noise reduction and experimental aeroacoustics. Since joining Carleton University, I started and grew my research laboratory from foundation with applications in aeroacoustics. Our research laboratory is presently equipped with an anechoic test section for low-speed wind tunnel testing, and a new anechoic experimental platform is being created for high-speed wind tunnel testing.

Carleton University is recognized internationally as a leader in aerospace education and research, with renowned achievements and first in the fields of aerospace and aeronautics. Carleton University through Carleton Aerospace is one of the largest and the most comprehensive academic aerospace research programs in Canada with a wide range of state-of-the-art research facilities. Carleton Aerospace is also the largest group of professors conducting aerospace research in Canada, with researchers working in all aspects of aerospace and aeronautics in collaboration with Canadian Aerospace industry to improve their products. Graduates from Carleton University aerospace engineering program go on to find employment in the field of engineering, many of them holding positions in the Canadian aerospace industry and research organizations.

I like my job overall. If I could name a favourite, this would include teaching, research and administrative duties. Teaching is rewarding. Research allows freedom to create, to investigate the unknown, to design innovative and solutions in order to fulfill society needs. Administrative duties are educative, essential, and inevitable. All are part of a world set of interesting tasks, which are complementary.

The current research project that I am working in collaboration with Bombardier Aerospace is a major and very interesting project. It involves the fundamental analysis and prediction of turbulent-flow induced noise in aircraft, in low- and high-speed wind tunnels at Carleton University. The interesting part arises from the fact that, although for many years researchers have been focusing on this topic, we still have no consensus and the full picture of what turbulent-flow noise in aircraft looks like. Our research team is working to help in this direction.

Aircrafts are nowadays and have been for many an essential means of transportation. However, this brings some challenges as well to us as society. Aircraft traffic has increased over the years, and is forecasted to double in the next 15 to 20 years. This will bring not only an increase of pollution but also in noise. Noise associated with aircraft affect people on the ground and those within the aircraft. There is sufficient scientific evidence that noise exposure can induce hearing impairment, hypertension and ischemic heart disease, annoyance, sleep disturbance, and decreased school performance. Consequently, in the past few years, the level of interest in aircraft noise research and noise reduction has increased significantly. As a researcher, I am devoted to develop fundamental research driven by an application which protects our environment and society, by improving existing or forecasted issues. Our research mission is to develop new aircraft configurations and solutions aiming at noise reduction, with the goal of minimizing the exposure of our communities to high noise levels, and giving aircraft passengers a quieter, healthier, more comfortable flight.

I believe women in aerospace and men is aerospace should be looked as the same, not only in 25 years, but at this time, all times. From my perspective, the aerospace needs to be viewed as a discipline like any other, freely chosen regardless and independently of gender. To support this, I strive in my life and at work to do my best, apply the best of my knowledge, with honesty and integrity, acquired concepts in life and in engineering profession, as an educator, as a researcher, as an engineer, and as a volunteer.

Follow your dreams, and your heart. These are after all linked. Work towards your goals and believe in your work. Do not give-up of your dreams – in life, believe all happens for a reason, even if at first sight if does not seem like.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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