Talbot Laboratory, Room 321A
Center for Sustainable Aviation (C.S.A.)
Matthew A. Clarke, Ph.D.
Matthew Clarke is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University. He is a V/STOL Aircraft Systems Technical Committee member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Before joining UIUC, Professor Clarke was a Boeing Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has also worked on the advanced concepts team at A3 by Airbus and briefly as a battery modeling data scientist at Toyota Research Institute in the Accelerated Materials Design & Discovery Division.
Professor Clarke is the Principal Investigator of the Laboratory for Electric Aircraft Design and Sustainability (L.E.A.D.S.). The core research interests of L.E.A.D.S. are electric propulsion architecture design and aircraft noise modeling. These efforts position L.E.A.D.S. to address some of the technical challenges at the intersection between the key domains of energy and noise that impede progress toward sustainable aviation.
L.E.A.D.S invites qualified individuals holding a Ph.D. to apply for an open postdoctoral position focussed on battery systems modeling efforts. Anticipated responsibilities include 1) assisting the construction of the L.E.A.D.S experimental facilities and the development of operating processes for students, 2) leading experimental test campaigns to characterize battery cells and modules, 3) simulating both nominal and failure state operating loads of all/hybrid/parallel electric aircraft powertrains simulations to inform future aircraft certification and 4) develop a computational to validate experimental data and accelerate data mining.
Candidates are expected to be self-motivated and able to work independently and as an integral team member. The postdoctoral appointment will entail performing research, mentoring students, and helping with project management and fundraising activities, including presentations to sponsors and the preparation of proposals. Strong oral and written skills are essential, as evidenced by refereed journal publications and conference presentations.
Excellent postdoctoral candidates are encouraged to email me with the subject line including the words "Prospective Postdoc" to discuss current openings. In your email please include:
Your CV with a publication list
Short description of past and future research interests
Names and contact info of 2 academic references
I encourage you to apply for a postdoctoral fellowship and am happy to work with you on this.
L.E.A.D.S. is looking for highly motivated students seeking to pursue a PhD in either emerging electrochemical systems for aircraft propulsion or aeroacoustics modeling of multi-rotor aircraft. Students should be willing to work in teams, mentor undergraduate students, engage in technical writing and oral presentations, and engage with their respective academic communities. Students with a background in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Material Science are encouraged to apply. No prior experience is required, however, presentation of demonstrated competency (academic publication) in relevant research is highly encouraged. Interested students should contact Prof. Clarke.
It is recommended that prospective PhD students apply to graduate fellowships since this will give you more flexibility throughout your Ph.D. For domestic students, the most common fellowships are the NSF GRFP and the NDSEG. For a broader list of fellowships, please see UIUC's page on graduate fellowships.
M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 2024
B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering, MVJ College of Engineering, India, May 2023
Research at UIUC:
I develop weight estimation methods and novel stability and control algorithms for unconventional aircraft.
Outside the Lab:
RC airplane enthusiast, drone racing and speed skating.
Sai Sankalp Shekar
M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, May 2025
B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering, Manipal Institute of Technology, India, May 2023
Research at UIUC:
I investigate the thermal management requirements for eVTOLs and conduct optimization studies to enhance the thermal performance of batteries, contributing to the development of efficient and safe electric aerial transportation solutions.
Outside the Lab:
I'm all about hiking and rock climbing, love the thrill of the outdoors, and find peace in swimming. When it comes to Formula One, you can bet I'm a die-hard fan, never missing a race even with Max winning everything.
Interested students are encouraged to contact Prof. Clarke.
B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, May 2027
Research at UIUC:
I am currently assisting in the development of a GUI for the RCAIDE tool, with the aim of increasing its accessibility globally.
I love photography, working on cars, and weightlifting.
As a group, we value:
Open science: We strive to open-source our data and code to facilitate reproducible science and help move the field forward.
Inclusivity: We are committed to maintaining an inclusive and supportive atmosphere within the group where each voice is heard. Diversity of thought and background are celebrated in our lab, and all are welcome.
Mutual respect: We believe in treating each other with respect and kindness.
Growth and reflection: We continuously learn, adapt, and strive to improve together. We will agree on shared values, which may change and grow over time.
Work-life balance: Creative researchers need breaks. Research is a marathon, not a race, so please take your weekends, evenings, and vacations to enjoy your life and refresh your mind for creative thinking!