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 (see also this link - click here):

  • 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 this link - click here):

  • 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. 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
  • Evaluation of FE fastener modeling techniques for airframe crash simulations
  • Process induced residual stresses around fastener holes in multi-directional laminates
  • Cure monitoring using embedded sensors for composite repair applications
  • Process induced residual stresses in repair patches bonded using heating pads
  • Parasitic effects of embedded tubular sensors in laminated composites

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
  • Blood flow in aorto-coronary bypass CFD models
  • Engineering education

Dr. Michael Papadakis - Research interests include aircraft icing, theoretical/experimental/computational aerodynamics. Current/recent research includes the following (see also this link - click here):

  • Experimental and computational investigation of electro-thermal ice protection systems
  • Investigation of the aerodynamic effects of ground anti-icing fluids
  • Testing of hybrid ice protection systems for engine inlets
  • Large droplet impingement dynamics
  • Development and testing of electro-expulsive ice protection systems
  • Experimental and computational investigation of the effects of ice contamination on aircraft aerodynamic performance
  • Testing of bleed air ice protection systems
  • CFD analysis of pivot door and cascade thrust reversers
  • Aircraft ice accretion analysis
  • CFD analysis of high-lift systems for commercial transport aircraft
  • Airborne icing tanker spray rig development and testing
  • CFD analysis of bleed air ice protection systems

Dr. Kamran Rokhsaz, MS Coordinator - 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. Elizabeth Rollins – Research interests include the dynamics and control of aircraft with a specific interest in nonlinear adaptive dynamic inversion control, the improvement of teaching at the university level, and the promotion of academic integrity.

Dr. Nick Smith - Research interests include solid mechanics, composite materials, micromechanics and processing simulation. Current/recent research includes the following:

  • Mold simulation of anisotropic, viscous fluids (e.g. long discontinuous composites)
  • Experimental visualization of melt fronts during processing
  • Strength characterization of long discontinuous composites
  • 3D printing with composite materials


Dr. James Steck - Research interests include aircraft flight controls, artificial neural networks, quantum computing, flight simulation, and acoustics. Current/recent research includes the following (see also these links - click here, here, and here):

  • 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 - Research interests include solid mechanics, mechanics of materials, mechanics of advanced composite materials, and 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
  • Finite element analysis of structures

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