Principal Investigator

photo of P.I.
Joseph Szefi
Invercon LLC

Dr. Joseph Szefi is the President and Founder of Invercon, LLC, which provides innovative design solutions for next generation rotorcraft and develops advanced piezoelectric valve technology for various industries.  After graduating with a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University in 2003, he founded Invercon, which started with a multi-year contract from the Center for Rotorcraft Innovation, now called the Vertical Lift Consortium.  Invercon first developed high frequency, periodically layered fluidic isolators for helicopter gearbox isolation in collaboration with Lord Corporation and Bell Helicopter.  Dr. Szefi then led an Army Phase II SBIR effort to develop novel, piezoelectric-based flap actuators.  In Phase II, he successfully demonstrated a buckling beam actuator incorporating piezoelectric stacks to outperform state-of-the-art trailing edge flap actuators.  More recently, Dr. Szefi has been developing a novel method to provide centrifugally powered, pneumatic actuation systems on rotor blades, which was recently evaluated under DARPA’s Mission Adaptive Rotor program.  Dr. Szefi is currently working with Sikorsky to test Invercon’s pneumatically powered dynamic Gurney flaps, or MiTEs, in NASA’s NFAC wind tunnel.  Dr. Szefi is also currently in talks with Bell Helicopter to license Invercon’s centrifugally powered pneumatic actuation concepts for future Bell, active rotor vehicles.

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