Department of Aerospace Engineering

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Dr. Jose Palacios

Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Phone: 814-867-4871,

Doctor of Philosophy

Yiqiang Han , Ph.D. student


“Helicopter Icing Physics ”

Mr. Yiqiang Han is currently a third-year PhD candidate from China. His research area includes: heat transfer measurement on rotor blades with surface roughness induced by ice accretion; fundamental icing physics on helicopter blades; performance degradation evaluation of the rotor blade under icing conditions; wind turbine rotor blade aerodynamics and coating evaluation; and ice accretion detection via helicopter acoustics measurements, etc.

After graduation, Mr. Han is planning to pursue a career related to the fields of ice accretion research on rotor system and ice protection system, as well as rotorcraft testing here in the United States.

Jared Soltis , Ph.D. student


“Coating Ice Adhesion Strength and Engine Icing ”

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering. My research focuses on ice adhesion strength modeling and testing, as well as engine icing. After graduation, I would like to work as a civil servant at NASA Langley or NAVAIR on the field of experimental testing.

Master of Science or Engineering

Matthew Bailey , M.S. student


“Centrifugally Powered Pneumatic De-Icing for Rotor Blades ”

My name is Matt Bailey and I was born and raised in Ramsey, New Jersey. I am currently in my second and final year pursuing a M.S. Aerospace Engineering degree. While working in the AERTS facility I have lead a group of students through de-icing and aerodynamic testing of a novel centrifugally powered pneumatic de-icing system for rotor blades. My research is based on the evaluation and optimization of the design of this pneumatic de-icing system. It is critical that a de-icing system designed for implementation on helicopter rotor blades works as efficiently as possible while minimally impacting present blade structure and performance. For this reason I have been developing a finite element model which can be used to quickly evaluate the effectiveness ice removal due to prototype design modifications. Upon graduation I look forward to working in the aerospace industry as a structural analysis or test and evaluation engineer.

Sihong Yan , M.S. student


“Engine Icing Crystal Dynamics ”

My name is Sihong Yan and I’m from China. Currently I’m a MS student and also a research assistant working for AERTS. My research topic is ice impact physics. This topic focuses on the mechanism and influence factors of impact between ice particles and solid materials. And this research will help us understand aircraft icing related to ice particles. If possible, I would continue my study at Penn State and pursue a PhD degree in the near future.


NiCola DiPlacido , M.S. student


“Enhancement of Ultrasonic De-Icing via Transient Excitation ”

I am a second year M.S. student working in the AERTS laboratory on improving our ultrasonic de-icing technology for rotor blades. After graduation I would like to secure an engineering position with Lord Corporation in Erie, PA.

Tayler Knuth , M.S. student


“Ice ahdesion Testing of Superhydrophilic Coatings ”

My name is Taylor Knuth and I am from Las Vegas, Nevada and completed my undergraduate at Brigham Young University with a B.S in Civil Engineering and an emphasis is Structures. I am currently working on my MS in Aerospace Engineering.  I perform research in conjunction with NASA Langley on Ice Adhesion Strengths of Hydrophillic Coatings.  Eventually, the plan for the research is to be able to use a written code to predict Ice Adhesion strength for different materials and coatings on the molecular level.  After completing my MS degree my plan is to transition my research into a PhD dissertation and eventually work for NASA as an astronaut.

Austin Overmeyer , M.S. student


“Bondline Optimization for Ultrasonic De-icing Systems ”

Austin graduated in 2012 with an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering. His thesis was the first one to evaluate ultrasonic de-icing technologies on representative environments seeing by rotor blades. He currently works as a civil servant at NASA Langley Research Center 14 ft. x 22 ft wind tunnel, in where he conducts testing of rotorcraft technologies. He is married to Martha, also a PSU alumni.

Edward Brouwers , M.S. student


“Experimental Investigation of a Rotor Icing Model with Shedding ”

Ed was one of the pioneer students assisting with the development of the AERTS laboratory. His thesis was the first one that used the facility for validation of ice accretion tools that accounted for ice shedding. He graduated with an M.S. in 2010. He is Propulsion Technology Engineer at The Boeing Company in Ridley Park. He is married to Maria, and they have two adorable girls, Zoey and Emma.

Bachelor of Science

Miguel Alvarez, B.S. Student


“Torsion, Flapping and Lagging Actuation for Damper Evaluation ”

I am from the Dominican Republic, currently in the 3rd year of the Aerospace Engineer undergraduate program. I assist with high speed video acquisition of ice particle impact dynamics and helicopter blades de-icing experiments in the AERTS Laboratory. I am planning on getting a masters degree after my graduation. My interests are: engine icing, rotorcraft de-icing systems, aircraft and rotorcraft structures, aeroeslaticity


Edward Rocco, B.S. Student


“Heat Transfer Ice Accretiona Rotor Vibration Control ”

My name is Edward Rocco. I am from Atco, New Jersey. Currently, I am a third year undergraduate student studying Aerospace Engineering. I have assisted in several research efforts such as measuring the thermal properties of iced airfoils and in the development of a rotor balancing system. I am currently working to understand the forces on pitch links in order to design a system to dampen vibrations using nonlinear isolation. I am interested in rotorcraft structures, aircraft engine systems, and adverse environment. After graduation, I hope to pursue a master's degree in Aerospace Engineering at Penn State.


Alex Retamozo, B.S. Student


“Heat Transfer Ice Accretiona Rotor Vibration Control ”

My name is Alex Retamozo was born in Asuncion, Paraguay. I went to high school in White Plains, NY where I now live. In summer of 2012 I became a naturalized citizen of the United States with the ambitions of becoming a pilot in the United States Air Force. I'm currently a Junior in Aerospace Engineering assisting in the field of engine icing. My latest project included the disassembly and modification of a T-53 Lycoming turbo-shaft engine for engine ice testing. 

Ahmad Haidar , B.S. Student


“Active Rotor Tracking and Balancing”

From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I am currently a senior in the aerospace engineering department at the Pennsylvania State University pursuing my B.S. degree in aerospace engineering. My research is on vibration suppression in rotor systems using passive auto balancing systems. Manufacturing inaccuracies, operating wear and damage, blade icing, and other factors lead to imbalance in a rotor system's mass distribution. Manual adjustments are required to rebalance the structure which are often expensive. A mounted auto balancing device consisting of two eccentric, free rotating masses would eliminate the need for manual adjustment. In the future, I plan to further my research while advancing my graduate education. 

Belen Veras-Alba, B.S. Student


“Droplet Splashing Visualization ”

I am a junior majoring in aerospace engineering. I am from Mastic Beach, New York and moved to York, Pennsylvania, in 2006. I graduated from the Christian School of York in 2011. I completed my first two years at Penn State York and started at the University Park campus the fall semester of 2013. My expected date of graduation is May 2015.

Tyler Molnar, B.S. Student


“Rotor Balacing and Tracking ”

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Year: 3rd year BS Student in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Mathematics
Research: My research is in the design of a passive balancing device for the rotor test stand. The goal of the device is to balance the blades after ice has been shed using counter weights that will move freely. This device will reduce imbalance vibration of the shaft when operating at critical speeds.

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