May 10, 2017
Contact: Amy Hewes
College of Engineering
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly aerospace engineering professors Graham Doig and Aaron Drake have been named Lockheed Martin Endowed Professors, the College of Engineering’s Advancement and Advisory Committee announced May 5.
Awarded biannually in conjunction with Lockheed Martin, the $25,000 professorships provide time and resources for professional growth and development to enrich the educational experiences of Cal Poly students. The award recognizes faculty members who contribute new knowledge in the field of engineering, partner with industry, involve students with advanced ideas and enhance teaching by introducing state-of-the-art topics into the classroom.
Since joining Cal Poly in 2014, Doig of San Luis Obispo has integrated undergraduate aerospace engineering students into aerodynamic research of a nearly professional quality. He has overseen the significant modernization of Cal Poly’s Low-Speed Wind Tunnel, and he has overhauled key courses in fluids, thermodynamics and applied aerodynamics to offer more project-based learning and foster increased student creativity.
Doig founded and advises the high-profile, student-led Cal Poly Prototype Vehicles Lab, which is building a car to break the land speed record for a solar-powered vehicle in the summer of 2018. He supervises graduate and undergraduate research in computational fluid dynamics, and he works with the Cal Poly Biomimicry Club encouraging projects to investigate seal flipper hydrodynamics and pelican wingtip aerodynamics.
Drake, from Atascadero and now in his third year at Cal Poly, has built a research capability in the Autonomous Flight Laboratory (AFL), involving students in emerging development and applications of unmanned aircraft. Central to the lab is a flight operations and testing capability that reflects the best professional practices. Under Drake’s leadership, the AFL has become operational with FAA-approved deployments of an unmanned Yamaha R-MAX helicopter and a military-grade fixed-wing aircraft, the first legal operation of unmanned research aircraft at Cal Poly.
Drake’s AFL work is focused on four goals: Prepare students to work in the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) industry; facilitate multi-disciplinary research; research technologies for UAS; and perform system assessment and design studies of UAS concepts. His team is currently collaborating with agriculture faculty in the application of unmanned craft for vineyard monitoring, and he has collaborated with another aerospace project team on the development of flight test instrumentation.
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