Embry-Riddle’s Aerospace Engineering (AE) Department is the largest in the country with 1,974 Bachelor of Science students, 104 Master of Science students and 57 Ph.D. students as of Fall 2022. It should be noted that about 10.9% of our undergraduates are honors students, while the rest of the Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach campus has 4.9% honors students. In addition, we continue to have numerous design/build/test projects at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
I am also proud to report that the undergraduate AE program continues to rank very highly at No. 8 (tied) in the nation, according to “U.S. News and World Report” rankings (September 2022). This is a significant accomplishment and demonstrates the program's quality. The graduate program also continues to thrive, ranking No. 32 (tied) in March 2022 and second in Florida.
Our research expenditures have been increasing significantly. Some notable current and recently awarded external projects are:
- Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need – GAANN. PIs: Lyrintzis, Engblom, Henderson, Leishman, Namilae.
- NSF CAREER “Multiscale Optimization of Additively Manufactural Spatially Varying Cellular Microstructures.” PI: Tamijani.
- NSF-MRI “Acquisition of a Photonic Nanofabrication System, NSF Major Research Instrumentation.” PIs: Kim, Al-Haik, Tamijani, Rojas, Madiyar.
- NSF-MRI “Acquisition of a Nano-Characterization System for Engineering and Physics Research and Education.” PIs: Al-Haik, Divo, Namilae, Rojas, Madiyar.
- NSF “Nanoscale Design of Interfacial Kinematics in Composite Manufacturing.” PI: Namilae, co-PI: Al-Haik.
- DOT “Analyzing the Role of Air‐Transportation in COVID‐19 Pandemic Disaster.” PI Namilae, co-PI Dahai Liu (COA).
- Air Force Research Lab “Improved Image Processing for Orbit Estimation.” PI Henderson.
- ONR “Topology and Morphology Optimization of 3D Printed Continuous Fiber Composites.” PI: Tamijani.
- NSF “Collaborative Research: Software Infrastructure for Analysis of Infection Propagation Through Air Travel.” Namilae: ERAU PI in multi-university collaboration.
- DOT-UTC “Epidemiological Models for Transportation Applications: Secondary Crashes.” PI: Namilae.
- DOT-UTC “Discrete Dynamics and Epidemiological Multi-Physics Models for Transportation Applications.” PI: Namilae.
- FAA “Mitigating GPS and ADS-B risks for UAS.” PI: Moncayo.
- FAA “Shielded UAS Operations — Detect and Avoid (DAA).” PI: Moncayo.
- ONR "Active Control of Jet Noise via Bi-Modal Excitation." PIs: Mankbadi, Golubev.
- NSF-REU Site “Exploring Aerospace Research at the Intersection of Mechanics, Materials Science and Aerospace Physiology.” PIs: Madiyar (Physical Science) and Mello.
- NIH “A Data Analytics Framework for the Application of Pedestrian Dynamics to Public Health.” PI: Namilae.
- VLRCOE-Vertical Lift Research Centers of Excellence — subcontract from Georgia Tech “Holistic Representation of Ship-Airwake-Rotor Interactions for Naval UAS Operations.” PIs: Leishman, Gnanamanickam.
- FAA “Integrated Flight and Propulsion Controls for Rotorcraft.” PIs: Collins, Anderson, Prazenica.
- Intuitive Machines “Hazard Detection and Avoidance Using Optical Systems.” PI: Henderson.
- State of Florida “Optical Communications Systems From Space.” PIs Henderson, Rojas (EECS).
- NASA KSC “Phase II: Development of an SE(3)-Based Rigid Body Pose Estimation Scheme for Unknown Moments of Inertia,” a.i. Solutions, Inc. PIs: Nazari, Henderson, Prazenica.
- FAA “Investigate Detect and Avoid (DAA) Track Classification and Filtering.” PIs: Prazenica, Henderson, Nazari, Song EECS, Stansbury EECS, Spencer COA.
- AFSOR “Novel Space Science Test via Adaptive Control and Integral Concurrent Learning Leveraging On-Orbit CubeSat Structural Identification.” PI: Bevilacqua.
- NASA “GNC Efforts in Support of the University of Florida’s Research for NASA’s Instrument Incubator Program (IIP).” PI: Bevilacqua.
- NSF “Understanding the Coupled Interactions Between Hair-Like Micromechanoreceptors and Wall Turbulence.” PI: Gnanamanickam.
- NSF “Cyber: Perceptual and Cognitive Additive Manufacturing (PCAM).” PI: Kim, co-PIs: Rojas, Song (EECS).
- ARO, “Understanding the Coupled Dynamics of Particles and Wall Turbulence.” PIs: Gnanamanickam, Zhang.
- “Inceptor Configuration Study for Simplified Vehicle Operations (SVO).” PIs: Collins, Anderson.
- Air Force STTR “Vision & Wireless-Based Surveying for Intelligent OSAM Navigation (VISION).” PIs: Moncayo, Dogan.
Our students have been involved in many interesting projects. One example is a project led by Dr. Henderson in which the students are developing a camera (EagleCam) to take a picture of a moon landing (the first camera to do so). The department also participates in many collegiate competition projects undertaken by undergraduate students with notable successes, including these excellent accomplishments:
- 2nd place in the AIAA Design, Build, Fly (DBF) 2022 competition with 100-plus teams competing. Embry-Riddle finished third last year and has placed within the top 10 in the last five years.
- 2nd place in AIAA Engine Design Competition (2020)
- 1st place in the AIAA Individual Design Competition (summer 2017)
Our successes across these various areas are thanks to the guidance from very talented faculty who are leaders in their fields. In fact, a recent Elsevier study named several of our faculty among an international list of the world’s top 2% of scientists recognized for their career scholarly impact (excluding self-citations). There are 1,065 names in the Aerospace Engineering discipline. The following Embry-Riddle Distinguished Professors are recognized in this list: Dr. Gordon Leishman #25, Dr. Mark Balas #39 (visiting), Dr. John Ekaterinaris #200, Dr. Tasos Lyrintzis #441, Dr. James Gregory #446 and Dr. Reda Mankbadi #676. Also, Dr. Bevilacqua is listed in the 2021 yearly impact list.
I am also proud to highlight that our researchers at the Eagle Flight Research Center (EFRC) have been awarded external funding that allows them to work on projects related to electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, an exciting new area of flight brought about by advances in electric propulsion technology and the novel vehicle configurations that technology allows. The EFRC has developed Hybrid-Electric Propulsion (HEP) systems for these aircraft to increase the range these types of aircraft can fly compared to batteries alone. In 2019 and 2020, under a $2.5 million contract with Boeing, the EFRC designed, built and tested a 120 kW HEP system for a 950 lb. multi-rotor UAV. Because these aircraft are novel in so many ways, research related to their certification is of paramount importance for these aircraft to eventually provide service to the public. Under a $630,000 grant from the FAA, the EFRC has built two large, 80 lb. quad-rotor handling quality certification research testbeds utilizing rotors that can control their thrust and moment in a variety of ways. The research is aimed at providing guidance to the FAA related to the certification of eVTOL aircraft. In 2022, Hyundai Motor Group’s Supernal provided $540,000 in funding for the EFRC to build an eVTOL simulator to study various stick configurations for their future eVTOL aircraft flight controls. The EFRC collaborated with the Aging, Perception and Performance Lab at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to put subjects through a protocol and ultimately provide feedback to Supernal regarding which configurations yielded the best results across a range of pilot experience. The EFRC has developed a reputation as experts in the areas of electric propulsion, hybrid-electric propulsion and eVTOL. Their ongoing research and development will provide governing agencies with the data they need to make informed regulations about these new novel aircraft.
Dr. Tasos Lyrintzis
Distinguished Professor and Chair
Daytona Beach, Florida 32114