Utah State University’s AeroLab is ahead of its time with cutting-edge research for developing aircraft of the future.
The AeroLab is a research group that specializes in aircraft computer simulations, wind tunnel testing, and starting this summer, flight testing.
Many of the research efforts underway at the lab support the improved aircraft efficiency interests of NASA, the Air Force Research Lab, the Office of Naval Research, the Space Dynamics Lab and the rapid design and optimization needs of the emerging drone industry.
This includes the study of morphing aircraft for both subsonic and supersonic applications for commercial and military use. The lab team comprises 14 students including doctoral, masters and undergraduates who have been awarded more than $1.5 million in research funding in the past 3 years.
Doug Hunsaker, head faculty of the AeroLab and assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is working to improve aircraft design and optimization methods while helping students advance their careers.
“Students who participate in the AeroLab get real-life experience with the problems facing the forefront of the industry,” said Hunsaker. “Students have the opportunity to collaborate with partners at other universities and research organizations and often spend time on-site at NASA, AFRL, and SDL. “Students coming out of our lab usually have very good job prospects with many of the leading aerospace companies.”
AeroLab students have received job offers from Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boom Aerospace, Exa Corporation, Area-I, Siemens, Aurora and the Air Force Research Lab.
Through their involvement in the AeroLab, students learn the industry standards and practices for research within the aerospace community, and are able to directly apply the skills and methodologies they’ve learned as they enter the workforce.