Putting Research to the Test: AE Doctoral Dissertations

Each year, the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering graduates between 30 and 40 doctoral students - each with unique contributions to make in research, academia, industry, and the evolution of the discipline itself. On this page, we provide links to their abstracts and their published dissertations. We're also introducing Next Gen Ideas, a video series in which our doctoral candidates will have ~ 3 minutes to explain research that took them years to produce. (No one ever said aerospace engineering was easy.) Click on the video above to get started.

2020 - 2021 Doctoral Dissertations

Darshan Sarojini: "Structural Analysis and Optimization of Aircraft Wings Through Dimensional Reduction" (Advisor: Dimitri Mavris

Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) are critical drivers of aircraft design. Early-stage aircraft design involves a tight coupling between structural dynamics, aerodynamics, and flight mechanics, with time-dependent loads arising from the considerations of the FARs. read the abstract


Kevin Reilley: "P-SEMP: A Platform for Systems Engineering Modeling and Planning" (Advisor: Dimitri Mavris

Systems engineering management and planning has long been a realm dominated by arcane standards, by the weight of years of practice, and by authority. However, with technological advances and the desire to solve socio-technical problems at the level of increasingly complex systems, authority alone is no longer sufficient for the justification of systems engineering practice. read the abstract


Nathan Brown: "Development and Evaluation of Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy for Electric Propulsion Plasma Diagnostics" (Advisors: Prof. Mitchell Walker and Prof. Adam Steinberg)

Electric propulsion utilizes plasma to provide propel satellites and space exploration vehicles. Due to limitations in available plasma diagnostics, open questions regarding the physics of electric propulsion (EP) thruster operation remain unanswered. read the abstract


Eugene Mangortey: "Development of A Big Data Framework for the Analysis and Assessment of Daily Airport Operations" (Advisor: Dimitri Mavris

Tremendous progress has been made over the last two decades towards modernizing the National Airspace System (NAS) by way of technological advancements, and the introduction of procedures and policies that have maintained the safety of the United States airspace. read the abstract


Manish Pokhrel: "A Framework for Fan Stage Conceptual Design Under Distortion  Induced by Boundary Layer Ingestion" (Advisor: Dimitri Mavris

Various tightly integrated aircraft concepts have emerged as a result of aggressive performance goals set forth by various organizations. Most integrated aircraft system configurations exploit the concept of Boundary Layer Ingestion (BLI). read the abstract


aerospace engineering graduate student Dusshyanth Rajaram

Dushhyanth Rajaram: “Methods for Construction of Surrogates for Computationally Expensive High-Dimensional Problems" (Advisor: Dimitri Mavris

Maturation of computational models has increased reliance on numerical simulations for the analysis, and more importantly, design of complex engineered systems. The high accuracy and realism offered by simulation-based analysis often comes at a high computational cost especially in the many-query context, as such limiting its applicability in exploratory design studies. read the abstract


aerospace engineering graduate student Jai AhujaJai Ahuja: “A Methodology for Capturing the Aero-Propulsive Coupling Characteristics of Boundary Layer Ingesting Aircraft in Conceptual Design” (Advisor: Prof. Dimitri Mavris)

Economic and environmental benefits of fuel efficient aircraft have driven research towards unconventional configurations and technologies. Boundary Layer Ingesting (BLI) concepts appear to be a promising solution, relying on a synergistic interaction between the airframe and propulsor for improved fuel efficiency. read the dissertation


Patrick Meyer: "Evaluating the Effects of Model Simplifications on the Transference of Policies Learned in Simulation" (Advisor: Prof. Dimitri Mavris