Samuel Athapaththu is an undergrad at Mason starting his senior year this fall in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently working as a research assistant studying ways to acquire water samples on autonomous underwater vehicles. He enjoys building and designing solutions to challenging problems, and in his free time enjoys working out, spending time with family and friends, and exploring new places.
Vanessa joined the Vessel Dynamics Lab as a PhD student in Spring 2022. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from George Mason University, where she loved the environment so much she decided to stay for graduate school. Her research interests include autonomous systems, dynamics and controls, and machine learning. She is currently working on accessible control of an ROV using an eye tracker. Outside the lab, Vanessa enjoys cooking, solving jigsaw puzzles, and playing with her dogs.
Congratulations to the Mason PEP team on their 2nd place finish in the “unmanned” category of ASNE’s Promoting Electric Propulsion competition held at the 2021 Multi-Agency Craft Conference (MACC). This represented the culmination of three senior design team’s efforts – a hull team and propulsion team in the 2019-2020 academic year, and a holistic team to pull it all together in the 2020-2021 academic year. Despite pandemic, these students’ hard work paid off the minute their boat entered the water. Proud of y’all. Well done!
The Vessel Dynamics Laboratory is looking to add a post-doctoral researcher to the team. The ideal candidate would have expertise in agent based modeling and/or smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), past work experience with human subjects, and an enthusiasm for occupational safety research. If this sounds like you or someone you know, please contact Leigh!
This is an RC to autonomous conversion done by undergraduate researcher Dhawal Bhanderi. In this video, at 4x speed, it starts off running autonomously, Dhawal takes control as it goes under the dock, then returns it to autonomous waypoint tracking. Check out the video:
Moises is a senior studying Mechanical Engineering at George Mason University. He is currently working on doing high speed planing hull simulations to represent the Generic Prismatic Planing Hull (GPPH). After graduation, he plans on going to grad school to pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering. Outside of academia you can find him reading fiction novels, playing super smash bros, and working out.
Dhawal Bhanderi is a Junior studying Mechanical Engineering at George Mason University. He is currently working on developing a fleet of Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV) capable of waypoint following. Outside of academia he enjoys video games, powerlifting, and basketball.
As we get ready to kick off the 2019-2020 academic year, I’m thrilled to be settling into new lab space at GMU’s Potomac Science Center. While furniture is still on order, computing power has arrived along with enough SeaPerch and SeaGlide kits to last us through some kickoff STEM outreach activities. If you’re in the neighborhood, come by and visit: 1203 Potomac Science Center, 650 Mason Ferry Ave, Woodbridge VA!
Rob Story’s 2009 MS thesis looking at application of Lypaunov exponents to anticipate intact and damaged stability issues won a Conference of Southern Graduate Schools’ ETD Master’s Thesis Award in the “Innovative Application of Technology to Scholarship in a Master’s Thesis” category.
Michele Cooper’s PhD presented a holistic look at numerous challenges related to ship dynamics, from control design, to neural network prediction, to verification and validation. Download her outstanding thesis here.
Dr. John Gilbert completed his PhD in June of 2015. His research included development of an accelerated coupled solver for fluid-structure interaction problems. His thesis can be found here, and he is currently research faculty at Virginia Tech.
While this site has been dormant the last few years, it is back live now – I have re-entered academia joining the Mechanical Engineering faculty at George Mason University. Enthusiastic prospective students are encourage to reach out as I am actively recruiting PhD students.
Our NASA NIAC project to explore Europa is featured in the newly released NASA 360 video From Science Fiction to Science Fact! The entire video is great, and Europa specifically is discussed at 2:25 in.
Alton Luder is the newest member of the research team joining us to continue the fine work Pankaj Kumar did related to coupling SPH and OpenFOAM simulations. Alton comes to us as a fellow Michigan alum (Go Blue!).
Tom Battista is joining the team, co-advised by Prof. Craig Woolsey, working on dynamics and control of submarines in waves (for example, at periscope depth or surfaced). Tom is also campaigning for the best research team member photo.
John Gilbert has received a prestigious SMART scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year to further his PhD research in computational fluids. It is anticipated/hoped that upon graduation he will work for the Hull Response and Protection branch of the Survivability, Structures, and Materials department of Carderock. Way to go John!
Update: Stephanie Sherman’s work on air traffic management has won her a Virginia Space Grant Consortium graduate student research grant and an Airport Cooperative Research Program Graduate Research Award! Stephanie is working to develop a computational model of air traffic based upon a smoothed particle hydrodynamics-esque definition of aircraft interactions (like particle interactions in SPH). Through this approach, her tool will be able to model stochastic aircraft characteristics in addition to deterministic characteristics. Fundamentally, she is trying to provide a tool which can help address two important and challenging problems:
Model aircraft interactions in a decentralized control scheme versus the current centralized control approach (e.g. the bulk of aircraft interactions being governed by instructions from air traffic controllers).
Model manned and unmanned aircraft interact with non-deterministic factors (e.g. pilot skill, aircraft handling, etc…)
Stephanie Sherman rounds out the aerospace side of our aerospace and ocean engineering team with her research toward using a particle-based approach toward air traffic simulation with a focus on stochastic uncertainties and comparing centralized versus decentralized control schemes.
Just got this e-mail from former post-doc Pankaj Kumar: “I am happy to inform you that I have been awarded best group project in IHPC/ASTAR. This award is for developing Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) solver within the OpenFOAM framework. My job in this project was to develop finite difference- and finite volume- based LBM solvers in OpenFOAM.” Congratulations Pankaj!
David Hickerson successfully defended his MS in July of 2013. In his research he used computational fluid dynamics simulations to study a sailboat heaving-to in a storm. His complete thesis is available online here.
David Allen, co-advised by Prof. Craig Woolsey, is working toward a viable mission to explore Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter that many believe is our best bet for finding life within the solar system. For more on David’s work, click on the tag ‘Allen‘ on this site.
I recently checked in with alum, Dr. Qing Yang who defended his PhD degree in December 2011 in the field of SPH simulation of fluid-structure interaction problems. He is now working as a naval architect in Kvaerner Field Development, a Norwegian oil service company specialized in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) of offshore platforms. His main job is to analyze the hydrodynamic load on the offshore platform and its mooring systems and the dynamic response of offshore platforms. He also notes he is now engaged: congratulations Qing!
Pankaj Kumar recently finished up a 2 year post-doc with us and is off working as a research scientist in Singapore! We miss him, but are proud to tout the ground-breaking research he did in merging meshfree and meshed CFD approaches. To read more, click on the ‘Kumar‘ tag on this site.
I hypothesize John, an LSU alum, came to Virginia Tech for the football as much as the research. John is working on fluid-structure interaction problems using meshed and meshfree methods building off the work of team alumni Qing Yang and Pankaj Kumar. For more on John’s work, click on the tag ‘Gilbert‘ on this site.
SMART Evan Lee comes to us via a SMART fellowship enabling him to pursue his PhD on stepped high speed craft while also working for NAVSEA’s Combatant Craft Division. For more on Evan’s work, click on the tag ‘Lee‘ on this site.
Van’s PhD research focuses on using particle based CFD to study a host of naval engineering problems with an emphasis on computational aspects to particle-based codes. He is the resident computer scientist on the research team. For more details on Van’s work, click on the tag ‘Jones‘ on this site.
Michele is a PhD student studying approaches to verification and validation of code. This work has her covering the range from experimental, to numerical, to analytical work. Her broad background also maker her the team’s defacto expert on everything from theology to health and nutrition. Posts highlighting Michele’s work can be found by searching on the tag ‘Cooper‘ on this site.