Umberto is currently a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering and a concurrent M.S. in Electrical Engineering. He previously graduate with a M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State and with a B.S. from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Umberto is part of the Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence (VLRCOE) and his research interests lie in Rotorcraft Flight Dynamics and Control.
Name: Regis Thedin
Role: Vice President
Regis has a BS (2013) and MS (2014) both in mechanical engineering and is a current PhD candidate in aerospace engineering. His current research involves bringing wind energy concepts into the rotorcraft community. His work includes the analysis of the effects of resolved atmospheric turbulence on ship airwakes and the subsequent effect on an approaching helicopter. From the helicopter perspective, research interests are on the flight dynamics and pilot workload when subject to the highly turbulent airwake flow. Funded by the Army through the VLRCOE, his goal is to improve simulators realism by understanding what levels of fidelity are necessary on the airflow module.
Name: Keerti Prakash
Keerti is currently a PhD candidate at The Pennsylvania State University, within the Aerospace Engineering department, working on augmenting passive damping for rotorcraft blades. He graduated with my M.S. degree from Penn State in December, 2017. His M.S. thesis focused on modeling of stick-slip behavior of carbon nano-tubes to estimate the damping augmentation in a hinge-less rotor blade.
Name: Carter Forry
Carter is an undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering. He became involved with AHS as a volunteer in the Adverse Environment Research Test Systems (AERTS) lab. He plans on pursuing an M.S. degree in aerospace engineering after completing his undergraduate career.
Payam is currently a graduate student pursuing an M.S. degree at the Department of Aerospace Engineering. He holds a BS.c degree in Physics from Queen Mary University of London, UK. Before joining Penn State, he was a student at the A&P program at the Civil Aviation Technology College at Mehrabad’s Airport and after that, he became a graduate student at the University of Kansas. Payam is part of the Vertical Research Center of Excellence (VLCORE) and the Robot Ethics and Aerial Vehicles Laboratory (REAL). His research interests lie in the area of Artificia! l Intelligence. He is currently researching the possibility of Mechanical Self-Repair for different aerial and spatial robotic systems.
Josh is a junior pursuing a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering. He is a legacy aerospace engineer in the Wind Energy Club, and is a new systems engineer for the UAS club. With a strong desire to be more involved in aerospace around Penn State, and a strong interest in rotorcraft entering his junior year, Josh became involved in the Penn State VFS chapter. After completing his undergraduate career, he plans on working in the field before returning to school to complete his M.S. in aerospace.
Name: Dr. Edward Smith
Role: Faculty Advisor
Dr. Ed Smith has been a member of the Aerospace Engineering faculty at Penn State University since 1992. He also completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State, where he also worked as a George F. Wislicenus Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Applied research laboratory (ARL). He attended graduate school at the University of Maryland Center for Rotorcraft Education and Research, earning MS and PhD degrees in Aerospace Engineering. Working under the supervision of Prof. Inderjit Chopra, Ed became engaged in research in helicopter dynamics and composite rotor blades.
Name: Dr. Jose Palacios
Role: Faculty Advisor
Dr. Jose Palacios joined the faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Penn State University in August 2013. Jose received his bachelor, MS and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the same department and school. He spent 5 years as a post-doctoral researcher at the Penn State Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence. During that time, his main research focus has been aircraft and wind turbine icing. Jose has developed testing capabilities to investigate icing physics and methods to prevent ice accretion. The construction of an Adverse Environment Rotor Test Stand and an upcoming Ice Crystal Wind Tunnel have helped secure funds for on-going research in the field of rotorcraft icing physics, engine icing, de-icing systems, and ice protective coatings.