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Yedavalli and McNamara Teams Receive 2015 AFRL/DAGSI Fellowship Award

Two teams of graduate students and faculty from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Ohio State have been awarded an Air Force Research Laboratory/Dayton Area Graduate Studies Institute (AFRL/DAGSI) Student-Faculty Research Fellowship. Mechanical engineering graduate student Tim Seitz and Professor Rama Yedavalli and Associate Professor Jack McNamara and aerospace engineering graduate student Marshall Levett are collaborating on separate distinct research topics.

“The goal of our research is to enable reusable hypersonic vehicle platforms by significantly decreasing the time-to-solution associated with long time record structural response and life simulation,” said McNamara.

 Essential to developing such a simulation capability is understanding and accounting for the strong interdependence between structural life and structural response over the operational history of a vehicle, however, this requires immense compute times.   Status quo approaches for reducing time-to-solution of expensive computations is the use of parallel computing via spatial domain decomposition or reduced order modeling. Neither can adequately address this issue. 

"My research seeks to address this problem by studying predictor-corrector schemes that enable parallel time marching on high performance computing architectures, distributing the workload required for an immense number of time iterations." said Marshall. 

 The project is being carried out in collaboration with the AFRL/RQ Structural Sciences Center and the AFRL-Univ Collaborative Center in Structural Sciences.

The research of Professor Rama Yedavalli and graduate student Tim Seitz is based on the theme of integrating robust and/or adaptive controllers in the diagnostics and health management of turbine engines to improve engine efficiency and longevity over a wider range of engine operation envelope. The impact of the research will be to cut maintenance costs on the Air Force’s fleet of planes from the high performance fighters to the reconnaissance and surveillance planes.

“By making control design more tuned to engine dynamics and its health parameters, it is possible to better integrate control, diagnostics and health management of engines taking into account the degradation of the performance of aging engines. Thus, it is very likely that existing planes will be able to have this more advanced control system retrofitted and gain the same benefits without having to purchase a new plane,” said Yedavalli.

Because commercial aircraft will also benefit from increased safety, decreased fuel costs from a lighter weight and better tuned controller as well as decreased maintenance, the research will also directly help avionics companies in Ohio.

“We hope our research will continue Ohio’s aeronautical pioneering spirit and potentially bring major engine manufacturers into the state,” said Seitz.


The AFRL/DAGSI Ohio Student-Faculty Research Fellowship program, funded primarily through DAGSI by the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR), supports graduate science and engineering students and faculty who conduct research in areas targeted by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. The key objectives of the program are to strengthen AFRL research ties to Ohio's academic science and engineering community, stimulate effective collaboration between Ohio universities and the AFRL, leverage Ohio research funding through use of AFRL resources and to develop research talent to fulfill future AFRL and Ohio's high-tech workforce needs.