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AEROSPACE ENGINEERING

Summary of Current Department & Faculty Research

Besides academic activities, the Aerospace Engineering department and faculty are responsible for a substantial amount of research. Much of this work is conducted collaboratively with industry and government. The theoretical, computational, experimental, and applied research efforts fall generally into three major areas:

  • Aerodynamics/Fluid Mechanics
  • Aircraft Structures/Solid Mechanics/Composites/Materials
  • Flight Mechanics/Controls/Simulation

The following sections summarize current faculty research interests & activities.

Dr. Animesh Chakravarthy - Research interests include flight dynamics & controls and multi-vehicle systems.  Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Bio-inspired and morphing flight dynamics and controls
  • Path planning of autonomous vehicles in dynamic environments
  • Dynamics and control of time-varying systems
  • Systems of interconnected vehicles
  • Partial differential equation based modeling of multi-vehicle systems

Dr. Atri Dutta - Research interests include space dynamics, optimal control, spacecraft design, space environment and multi-disciplinary optimization applied to air and space operations. Current/recent research includes the following (see also www.atridutta.info):

  • Design of propulsion and power subsystems of all-electric telecommunication satellites
  • Analysis of electric orbit-raising mission scenarios with focus on minimizing solar array degradation during transit through the Van Allen radiation belts
  • Development of conflict resolution algorithms for multiple En Route aircraft
  • Analysis of cooperative and non-cooperative strategies for servicing satellite constellations

Dr. Klaus A. Hoffmann, PhD Coordinator and Marvin J. Gordon Distinguished Professor - Research interests include supersonic and hypersonic flows, aero-acoustics, computational fluid dynamics, magnetohydrodynamics and bio-fluids.  Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Development and application of computer codes for Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS), including high speed turbulent flows (e.g., jet exhaust, Chevron design, heat transfer)
  • Development and application of computer codes for Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), including boundary conditions and flow control
  • Code development and application for Bio-fluids applications, including blood flow in arteries, heart valves, around knee and hip implants, and with pharmaceuticals
  • Development of codes for parallel computing
  • Noise prediction schemes for aircraft interior
  • Computation of chemically reacting hypersonic flows
  • Application of CFD to solar energy and wind energy developments

Dr. Walter Horn - Research interests include structural analysis, solid mechanics, fracture mechanics, damage tolerance, fatigue, structural health monitoring, and wind turbines.  Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Composite panel damage detection using ultrasonic testing and neural networks
  • Crack propagation analysis using acoustic emission sensors for structural health monitoring systems 
  • Application of probabilistic fracture mechanics for life prediction of metallic materials
  • Neural network analysis of acoustic emission sensors for structural health monitoring systems
  • Neural network approach of active ultrasonic signals for structural health monitoring
  • Investigation of multi-material bird models for predicting impact loads during bird strikes
  • Investigation of material density variations for predicting bird impact loads
  • Investigation of equations of state models for predicting bird impact loads

Dr. Suresh Keshavanarayana - Research interests include Aircraft structures/solid mechanics/composites.  Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Generation of fatigue based severity factors for fastener joints
  • Dynamic characterization of composite materials
  • Scaling effects on the tensile strain rate sensitivity of composite materials
  • Load signal modulation in dynamic tension and shear tests
  • Statistical Analysis program for computing design allowables for composites
  • Study of disbonds in adhesively bonded skin-stringer panels using cohesive elements
  • Tearing of honeycomb core cell walls in sandwich structures

Dr. Linda Kliment - Research interests include applied aerodynamics and flight mechanics.  Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Experimental investigation of wake vortex filaments.  Dynamics and stability of the vortex are studied. 
  • Operational flight loads data is collected for a variety of aircraft.  The usage information and flight loads are analyzed. 

Dr. L. Scott Miller, Chair & Director of NASA in Kansas - Research interests include experimental aerodynamics, airfoil design, aircraft design, rotor aerodynamics, and engineering education.  Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Low-Reynolds number propeller performance measurement, prediction, and design
  • Small unmanned aircraft design, construction, and testing
  • Airfoil performance enhancement using passive techniques
  • Use of experiential and historical case studies to enhance engineering education

Dr. Roy Myose - Teaching interests include biofluid mechanics, astrodynamics, aerodynamics, propulsion, and engineering mechanics.  Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Low-Reynolds number cascade aerodynamics
  • Delta wings under dynamic conditions
  • Enhanced jet flow mixing using chevron-shaped nozzles

Dr. Michael Papadakis - Research interests include aircraft icing, theoretical/experimental/computational aerodynamics. Current/recent research includes the following:

  • CFD analysis of pivot door and cascade thrust reversers
  • Development and testing of electro-expulsive ice protection systems for UAV 
  • Testing of hybrid ice protection systems for engine inlets
  • Experimental and computational investigation of ice shedding from aircraft surfaces
  • Development and testing of bleed air ice protection system for aircraft applications
  • CFD and parametric analysis of hot air ice protection systems
  • Experimental and numerical investigation of the aerodynamic effects of ground anti-icing fluids
  • Spray rig development and testing for icing tankers
  • Experimental and computational investigations of the effects of roughness, simulated ice shapes, and contamination on aircraft aerodynamic performance
  • Aircraft ice accretion analysis and experimental investigation of large droplet impingement dynamics

Dr. Kamran Rokhsaz, MS Coordinator and Associate Dean - Research interests include theoretical and applied aerodynamics, flight mechanics.  Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Analysis of operational data collected by flight data recorders to develop ground-air-ground usage statistics and flight loads exceedance spectra, for a variety of aircraft.
  • Development of a fault tolerant flight control system, including aeroelastics effects, for application on general aviation aircraft.
  • Theoretical and experimental investigation of dynamics and stability of wake vortex filaments. 

Dr. James Steck - Research interests include aircraft flight controls, artificial neural networks, quantum computing, flight simulation, and acoustics. Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Integrated resilient adaptive aircraft control for general aviation
  • Structural health monitoring of aircraft
  • Health monitoring of wind turbines
  • Lightning protection of composite aircraft
  • Quantum neural computing and quantum learning
  • EEG (brainwave) control of aircraft

Dr. Charles Yang, Boeing Global Engineering Leadership Professor - Research interests include solid mechanics, mechanics of materials, mechanics of advanced composite materials, adhesively bonded joints.  Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Bonded repair of composite airframe laminate and sandwich structures
  • Characterization of adhesive properties for the development of progressive damage growth analysis
  • Analysis of composite scarf-patch-repair

Dr. Brandon T. Buerge - Research interests include Unmanned Aerial System/Lighter-Than-Air vehicles. Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Teaching and curriculum development (at the university and middle-school levels)
  • Concept-level aircraft and airship design
  • Propulsion system modeling and optimization
  • Flight and ground testing
  • Performance analysis
  • Experimental aerodynamics research

 

 

Compiled Fall 2011 & updated Spring 2013