This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.
I am currently a Professor in the Aerospace Engineering Department at The Pennsylvania State University. I joined the faculty on May 15, 2006. My research focuses on path planning, control, and data fusion, applied especially to navigation, obstacle avoidance, and long-range flight of small uninhabited aircraft. In 2011 I was leader of Team Pipistrel-USA.com, winner of the NASA/CAFE Green Flight Challenge with the Taurus G4 aircraft. In 2018 I led a team of undergraduate students in the design of the Blue Sparrow, a small personal air vehicle. Blue Sparrow was a Phase 1 winner of the GoFly competition. Current projects include autonomous ship-board landing, autonomous multi-lift, and Dragonfly, an upcoming NASA mission that will explore Saturn's moon Titan via autonomous rotorcraft. I teach aircraft design, dynamics and control, aeronautics. I'm an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, serving on the Guidance, Navigation and Control Technical Committee and I am an Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics.
In 1988 I graduated from high school and went to Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. I studied Engineering Physics, was a member of the varsity rowing team and worked at Clark Hall Pub. I graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Physics (Mechanical Option) with honours.
In September 1992 I moved to Seattle, Washington to start graduate studies in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. While I was there I began telemark skiing, spending many Tuesdays in winter enjoying the twelve dollar lift ticket special at Steven's Pass. I've since been told that this special no longer exists. My research was in structural analysis of aircraft fuselage structures under Professor Eli Livne. In December 1994 I received my Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics.
After graduation I worked as a research assistant to Prof. Livne until March 1995. Then my friend Phil sent me an email suggesting we meet in Costa Rica and spend some time travelling in Central America. This sounded like a great idea, so in April 1995 I flew to San Jose, Costa Rica. We spent two months travelling through Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.
In August 1995 I began working at de Havilland Inc. (now Bombardier Aerospace, the third largest manufacturer of civil aircraft in the world) in Toronto. I spent two years working in Structures Research and Development, primarily on advanced materials and damage tolerance analysis of reinforced structures. For six months I worked with the stress office finite element analysis of the nacelle of the Q400 turboprop aircraft. The remaining two and a half years I spent in the Acoustics and Vibration Group, working primarily on cabin noise reduction of the Global Express, Bombardier's ultra-long range business aircraft. I spent some time working on cabin noise reduction of the Continental Business Jet and noise certification of the RJ700.
School was calling again, however, and in June 2000 I left Bombardier. In September 2000 I moved to Stanford, California with my then-fiancee Maggie to return to graduate studies. I joined the Aerospace Robotics Laboratory and passed the qualifying exam in May 2001. In the ARL I worked on cooperative estimation for teams of robots applied to the problem of assembly of large structures in space and on navigation of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in unknown environments. Maggie and I were married in August 2001.
On March 24, 2006 I submitted my dissertation, State Estimation for Autonomous Flight in Cluttered Environments. My advisor was Dr. Stephen Rock in the Aerospace Robotics Laboratory at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University.
In May 2006 we moved to State College, Pennsylvania, a great little college town in the middle of the Appalachians of central PA.