P.I. Advising Statement
Serving as a research mentor to several graduate students during my Ph.D. and postdoc has prepared me to advise future students effectively. With the awareness that one-on-one meetings can take many forms, I ask students what type of mentorship they prefer - asking for feedback serves two purposes: improving my approach to mentoring and affirming students that their voices matter. An impactful mentor is there to assist, not to supervise. However, it is also essential to recognize that stepping in is sometimes necessary to ensure student success.
From a non-traditional path to graduate school, I stand here today as a testament to teachers' and mentors' belief in my potential to positively change the field of aerospace. Mentoring has allowed me to see how self-doubt rooted in identity can influence how students perceive their deductive reasoning abilities. I therefore remain committed to fostering the "growth mindset" by conveying that intelligence does not reflect fixed, natural ability but can change and grow over time. Within the classroom, I affect this by establishing behavioral norms that nurture a sense of belonging for all students, such as respectful interaction etiquette and active listening. Academia is a field where many can succeed, especially when given the opportunity, and it is our job as faculty to promote diversity whenever we can.
Area 1: Electrochemical Energy Storage Systems
Aerospace scientific literature has exposed the reluctance and inability of aircraft designers to adopt detailed approaches to battery modeling that examine the internal electrochemical processes that govern electric discharge. For instance, lumped models are often used to represent the battery pack, oversimplifying the heat transfer between the coolant and individual battery cells. This prohibits accurate thermal analysis of the pack, making any attempt to optimize heat rejection futile. It also prevents understanding failure modes associated with distributed electric propulsion architectures. In L.E.A.D.S, we seek to leverage experimentation to validate and expand the community’s understanding of the impacts of repeated cycling of aircraft loads on batteries by quantifying dominant internal degradation mechanisms.
Area 2: Aircraft Noise in Urban Environments
Noise pollution from future eV/STOL aircraft will not only govern the establishment of new air-traffic corridors but play an integral role in the placement of vertiports, potentially changing automotive traffic patterns in existing ground networks. This has driven designers back to the drawing board to conceptualize even quieter aircraft and devise clever noise-mitigating strategies that take advantage of the unique properties of sound, such as directivity, reflectivity, and phase attenuation. Given the nature of the aircraft design, this often means striking a balance between performance and low noise. At a time when new concepts are rapidly emerging, most of the computational tools for assessing aircraft noise, unfortunately, fall at the two extremes, either being computationally expensive and unfit for iterative design or based on archaic data. L.E.A.D.S. thus intends to develop modern computational aeroacoustic predicting methods capable of estimating noise from distributed electric propulsion configurations. L.E.A.D.S. also seeks to go one step further by exploring more complex acoustics domains such as wall scattering, which is critical for modeling aircraft in urban canyons.