Doctoral student Benjamin Leon has been chosen to receive the prestigious 2019 United Technologies Corporation Fellowship for his myriad research contributions to rotorcraft research while at Georgia Tech.
The $5,000 award will support the final year of Leon's research as a doctoral student under the tutelage of AE professor Claudio DiLeo. Earlier this year, Leon was similarly recognized by the Vertical Flight Society with its Robert L. Lichten Award for his paper, "Ground and Flight Tests of a Cable-Driven Four-Bar Linkage Robotic Landing Gear for Rotorcraft." Leon co-authored that paper with his advisor and AE professor Julian J. Rimoli. He was invited to present it before the Vertical Flight Society's Forum 75 in May.
The Warner Robins native earned his undergraduate and master's degrees at the AE School and is planning a career in industry when he completes his doctoral degree later this year. The support provided by the UTC Fellowship will give him more time to focus on his doctoral thesis which will focus on overcoming barriers that rotorcraft face when landing on mobile vehicles, such as ships.
"Landing on a moving vehicle presents some serious hurdles," he said. "I'm focusing on a couple of technologies that will take the risk off the pilot for making a safe landing and at the same time increase the landing envelope. If we can create autonomous landing gear, we can lower that risk and make the landing safer and more efficient for the people and for the hardware."