University Leadership Initiative Partner List (2017-2018)


NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate
University Leadership Initiative
Interested Partner List (2017-2018)    

For ULI, the lead (proposing) organization must be an accredited, degree-granting U.S. college or university. Partners may include other U.S. colleges and universities, U.S. companies, U.S. non-profit organizations, U.S. federally funded research and development centers (FFRDC).

To be listed as an interested lead or partner, please send electronic mail to with "ULI Partnerships" in the subject line and include the information below.

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Organization Name

Organization POC POC E-mail Area of Reseach Interest Lead/Partner Signed/Re-signed up in 2018
Tuskegee University Heshmat A. Aglan, Ph.D., P.E.

Lightweight composite materials, Processing, and characterization of thin films, Corrosion and erosion resistant coatings, Failure Analysis, additive manufacturing and reverse engineering.

Jackson State University

Richard A. Aló, Ph.D Unmanned aircraft systems/controls,  Critical infrastructures defense/protection, Innovations at Nexus of Food Energy and Water, cybersecurity (intrusion/ detection, offensive/defensive), Big Data Analytics, Visual Analytics, Visualization, Modeling /Simulation, Decision Support Systems/Tools (machine and deep learning, AI), nano materials, high performance computing. Lead/Partner Y
University of Alabama Ajay K Agrawal Clean, fuel-flexible, and efficient combustion systems for propulsion and power generation Lead/Partner  
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Phil Ansell Subsonic and transonic aerodynamics, unsteady flows, active flow control, high-lift aerodynamics, propulsion-airframe interaction, hybrid-electric propulsion systems, distributed propulsion, dynamic stall, aircraft performance Partner  

University of Michigan

Ella M. Atkins Autonomy (mission-level, flight planning, authority management), Aviation Safety, Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Concepts of Operation, UTM (UAS Traffic Management) Lead/Partner  
Kansas State University Polytechnic Kurt Barnhart Unmanned aircraft systems structures and controls as well as aircraft certification Partner  
Cal Poly Pomona

Subodh Bhandari  Increased Autonomy, Collision and Obstacle Avoidance, Path Planning, Navigation in GPS- Denied Environment, Auto Landing, UAS Traffic Management, Cyber Security and Cyber Resilience of Unmanned Aerial Systems, Command and Control of Multiple UAS, Human-Machine Interface, Human Factor Lead  
Rutgers University Onur Bilgen Multi-functional and smart material structures, morphing fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft structures, shape-adaptive wings and propellers, flexible and/or adaptive structures, small UAVs, fluid-structure interaction and aeroelasticity. Lead/Partner Y
Purdue University Gregory Blaisdell

Large eddy simulations (LES) of subsonic and supersonic jets for aeroacoustics, turbulence modeling of compressibility effects and vortex flows Partner  
Architecture Technology Corporation Greg Carr Aviation Safety Analysis; Operations Research; Data Analysis and Visualization; UAS; Cyber-Security; Fast-time and Real-time Simulation; Development, Test and Evaluation of Air Traffic Management Concepts and Decision Support Tools Partner Y
California State Polytechnic University of Pomona Frank Chandler One of the largest Aerospace departments in California and one of the largest colleges of engineering, nationally. Ranked in the top 5 best undergraduate engineering programs among public universities in the Master’s Category by U.S. News & World Report. Partner  

Stanford University

Fu-Kuo Chang Real-time System-wide safety Assurance, integrated built-in sensing-based intelligence systems for health and state-awareness, bio-inspired materials and structures for reliability and automation Lead/Partner  
University of Kansas Haiyang Chao Autonomy (turbulence resilient control, formation flight), Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), Gust Suppression Control, Weather Impact on UAS, Turbulence UAS Interaction Partner Y
Mosaic ATM, Inc. Andrew Churchill Air Traffic Management; ATM Decision Support Tools; Modeling and Simulation; Airport Surface Traffic Management; Integrated Arrival Departure Scheduling; Data Science, Analytics, and Operations Research; UAS Traffic Management Partner  
University of Massachusetts John Collura N/A Lead/Partner Y
CSU Monterey Bay Robert Dahlgren, Ph.D.     N/A Lead/Partner Y

Boeing Research & Technology

Michael Duffy

Electric Propulsion, Transformative Vertical Lift Concepts, Distributed Electric Propulsion, Co-operative Lift, high speed VTOL, efficient VTOL aircraft, Hybrid Electric Propulsion, redundancy for safe operations, conceptual sizing for electric and hybrid electric propulsion vehicles, Adaptive control surfaces for rotorcraft

Ohio State University Gas Turbine Laboratory Mike Dunn

Aeromechanics, aerodynamics,aeroperformance, heat transfer and film cooling, small core engines, UAV ingestion Partner

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) Akbar Eslami Structure Analysis, Design Optimization, Reverse Engineering, Computer Aided Manufacturing Partner  
University of Colorado Boulder John Farnsworth Subsonic aerodynamics, unsteady aerodynamics, aerodynamic flow control, fluid-structure interaction, dynamic stall, stall flutter, high-lift aerodynamics, high-aspect ratio optimal wings, propulsion-airframe integration, ultra-efficient nacelles, vertical take-off and landing technologies Lead/Partner Y
Department of Aerospace Engineering; University of Maryland, College Park Prof. Imraan A. Faruque Dynamics and control Lead/Partner  
University of Michigan  John Foster

Plasma-boundary layer interactions; plasma liquid interactions; electric plasma propulsion; black out mitigation; MHD and Hypersonic flight

West Virginia University Yu Gu Robotics Systems and UAV Design, robot autonomy, formation flight, guidance, navigation, and control, multi-agent systems, field testing. Website: Partner Y
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Dr. Andy Hollerman

Sensor Development, Luminescent Materials, Materials Science/Engineering, Distributed Sensors

Purdue University Inseok Hwang Assured Autonomy (human-machine interactions/teaming, SOS analysis, distributed coordination and planning, real-time fault detection and resolution), Aviation/Aircraft Safety and Security (cyber-security, large-scale flight data analytics, sensing and fusion, guidance, and navigation), Air Traffic Management, UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Lead/Partner  
Mississippi State University Ratneshwar (Ratan) Jha Conceptual Design, Aerodynamics and Aeroelasticity, Composite Structures (design, modeling, manufacturing, progressive damage analysis, damage detection) Lead/Partner  
Innovative Space Technologies, llc.

Michael A. Judith

Physical Sciences/Materials 


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Rakesh K. Kapania Aerospace and Ocean Engineering,

Affiliate Professor, Engineering Science and Mechanics

University of Texas at Tyler Tahsin Khajah

Isogeometric Analysis, Scattering, Radiation, Acoustics, Electromagnetics, Evolutionary Optimization, Shape Optimization

University of Cincinnati Prashant Khare Turbulent spray combustion, multiphase fluid dynamics, data analytics, applicable to propulsion and power generation systems Lead/Partner Y
Duke University

Robert Kielb Propulsion, Small Core Engines, Variable Cycle Engines, Structural Dynamics, Unsteady Aerodynamics, Aeroelasticity, Aeroacoustics, Foreign Object Ingestion Lead/Partner  
AvMet Applications Mark Klopfenstein

Weather translation into operational impact and solutions for minimizing weather impact; weather-aware fast-time simulation

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Fotis Kopsaftopoulos   Intelligent self-aware aerospace systems; structural health monitoring diagnostics and prognostics; state sensing and awareness; autonomy, sustainment, reliability and safety assurance; aerospace systems in complex dynamic environments; smart materials and structures; aeroelasticity/structural dynamics and control Partner Y
RAND Corporation Kenneth Kuhn

Weather impacts on aviation, air traffic flow management, UAS traffic management, UAS concepts of operations, natural disaster and hazard mitigation, climate change impacts

University of California, Davis Seongkyu Lee Aeroacoustics Partner  
University of Dayton John Leland Strong capabilities exist in the following:  Materials, structures, propulsion, electrical power, fuels (conventional and alternative), combustion, life analysis, modeling (thermal, fluids, stress, electrical and aero), flight loads and integration. Lead/Partner  
Western Michigan University William W. Liou Biofuel and blended fuels small engine testing and impacts on engine systems and controls. Partner  

University of Texas at Arlington

Frank Lu

Innovation in Commercial Supersonic Aircraft

University of Cincinnati, College of Engineering Ou Ma Intelligent robotics, intelligent automation, UAV and UAS, multi-robot collaboration, human-robot collaboration, machine learning, advanced manufacturing Lead/Partner Y

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Reda Mankbadi

Active Noise Control, Large-Eddy Simulations, Alternative Propulsion Systems

Partner Y

Eagle Flight Research Center

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Dr. Scott Martin

Transition to Low-Carbon Propulsion (HEP) Lead  
University of South Carolina David W. Matolak

Wireless communications for aeronautical applications, including air-ground/air-air/air-satellite/airport communications, and aeronautical navigation and surveillance applications, all for both piloted aircraft and UAS. Physical and data link layer expertise, and some networking expertise. Long-term experience with analysis, computer simulations, test & measurements, and system field trials and deployments.

Georgia Institute of Technology Dimitri Mavris Integrated, multi-disciplinary analysis and design of emerging technologies and systems Lead/Partner  
 Clark Atlanta University Eric A. Mintz, Ph.D.

High temperature polymers and composites, composite fabrication, characterization, testing.  Thermosets and thermos plastics

University of Florida Sae Miller Fluid Dynamics, Aeroacoustics, Turbulence, Theory, CFD Lead/Partner Y
University of Notre Dame Scott C. Morris Distributed propulsion Lead  
Old Dominion University Duc T. Nguyen

Large-scale Computational Mechanics, Finite Element Analysis (Linear & Non-linear),Engineering Optimization Algorithms, Design Sensitivity Analysis,Parallel (Sparse, Dense) Computing Algorithms, Sparse-Dense Equation & Eigen-Solvers
Domain Decomposition Algorithms, Shortest Path (with, or without constraints) Algorithms, Efficient Airline Scheduling & Routing Algorithms

NSF MIST Center @ University of Florida Dr. Toshi Nishida  Multi-functional Integrated Systems Technology (MIST), specifically smart systems for system-level aeronautic problems including but not limited to harsh environment sensors, compact EMI-immune array antennas, harsh environment memory/logic, and zero-power sensors Lead/Partner  

STEM-Time Research and Outreach Organization, LLC

N. Shontee Norman, PhD Data Analytics, Fluid Dynamics, Aerodynamics, Applied Flight Dynamics (Aircraft/Spacecraft), Cryogenics, Engineering Education, Classical Thermodynamics, Accessibility in STEM, Innovation Lead/Partner Y
CDF Research Corporation Dr. Paul Palies Combustion dynamics and static stability, Premixed flames, Thermo-acoustic Noise, Combustion chemistry, Gas Turbine   Lead/Partner Y

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Purdue University Zucrow Laboratories

Guillermo Paniagua Advanced hybrid propulsion, Design and optimization of compact supersonic turbo machinery, bladed and bladeless, Exploitation of Magnetohydrodynamics effects in the combustors, Integration of combustor and turbine, Air Turborockets design and optimization, Fundamental research on the starting of supersonic intakes, Active control of supersonic flows Lead/Partner  
University of Florida Maura Pedersen All Lead/Partner  
University of Massachusetts Shannon Roberts N/A Lead/Partner  

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Samit Roy Multi-disciplinary Design Tools Development; Structural Lightweighting; Life Prediction N/A  
Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Aerospace Engineering Lakshmi N Sankar Computational fluid dynamics, helicopter and aircraft aeromechanics, icing modeling,turbofan aerodynamics Partner Y
ATAC Corporation Aditya Saraf Autonomy; UAS Traffic Management; Aviation Safety; Aviation Big Data Analytics; ATM Decision Support Tools; Data Analysis and Visualization; Modeling and Simulation; ATM Benefits Assessment; ATM Concepts Development and Analysis Partner  
Auburn University

David Scarborough

Combustion in supersonic flows; alternative fuels; clean, efficient combustion; lean, premixed pre-vaporized combustion; combustion dynamics; smart fuel injectors Lead/partner  
University of Minnesota Pete Seiler Controls, Navigation, Fault Tolerance, Unmanned Aircraft, Performance Adaptive Aeroelastic Wing, Aircraft Safety Lead/partner  
Boeing Research & Technology Ed Semmes Expertise with regards operations research, air traffic management, time failure propagation/machine learning and advanced air vehicle health management. Support & Analytics arm of Boeing Research & Technology (BR&T) Partner  
George Mason University (Center for Air Transportation Systems Research) Lance Sherry National Airspace System (NAS) Real-time Safety Assurance, National Airspace System (NAS) simulation, Autonomous Drone Design and Test, Flightdeck Design and Human Performance Modeling, Machine Learning & Big Data Analytics (NAS-wide, airports, aircraft) Partner  
Virginia State University

Ehsan Sheybani

Communication systems and signal processing, Big data analysis and visualization

University of Cincinnati Jing Shi Additive manufacturing (process innovation, thermo-mechanical analysis, and material synthesis), machining and surface integrity, computational material science, data analytics, modeling and simulation of manufacturing processes and systems Partner  
North Carolina A&T Kunigal Shivakumar Damage Tolerant Materials & Structures; Suppression of Engine Noise by Transformational Technologies Partner  
North Carolina State University Larry M. Silverberg Advanced engineering of multi-vehicle  AUAS: multipurpose design, system-level path planning, aerial networking, sensor fusion, real-time image processing,
UAS operational system-of-systems, aerial system safety and security, technology  demonstrations, entrepreneurship.
Cleveland State University Dan Simon Controls, Diagnostics, Optimization, Fault Tolerance, Autonomy Lead/Partner  

Aviation Applications Program

Research Applications Laboratory

National Center for Atmospheric Research

Matthias Steiner

Weather impacts on aviation (commercial, general, unmanned aerial systems), including turbulence, convection, inflight & ground icing, ceiling & visibility, wind & wind shear; weather integration into decision support

University of Texas at Arlington Kamesh Subbarao Autonomy (flight planning, safe operations, trajectory operations), Aviation safety, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), See and Avoid, Sense and Avoid, Conflict detection and resolution,  Modeling and Simulation, ATM Concepts, UTM (UAS Traffic Management), National Airspace System (NAS) Simulation (FACET), Morphing Structures, Novel Trimming Methods, Multi-Objective Optimization Methods. Partner  
The Pennsylvania State University Karen A. Thole Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering    

The University of Texas at El Paso

Dr. Miguel Velez-Reyes Sensor and Signal analytics. Application to modeling and system diagnostics    
Clarkson University  Ken Visser

VTOL Configurational Design, Transient Flight Analysis, and Structural Integrity and Health Monitoring

Georgia Institute of Technology Yan Wang Multiscale Systems Engineering, Computational Materials Design, Multidisciplinary Design Optimization, Multiscale Simulation, Simulation Based Additive Manufacturing Process Design, Big Data Analytics for Manufacturing, Uncertainty Quantification Lead/Partner  
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Robert Webster

Computational simulations of propulsion-airframe interaction (e.g., inlet-fan coupling); fan/compressor and turbine aerothermodynamics and aeromechanics; viscous, compressible flows in the subsonic, transonic, and supersonic regimes

Iowa State University Peng Wei Decision Support and Automation for Air Traffic Management, Airline Operations, UAS Traffic Management    
San Jose State University

Wenbin Wei, Ph.D Air traffic management, simulation modeling, human factors, flight operations, data analysis and analytics Lead  
North Carolina State University/National Institute of Aerospace Dr. F. G. Yuan
Professor Integrated vehicle system management, smart sensors, diagnosis/prognosis, data mining, structural health monitoring Lead/Partner  
University of Miami Dr. Gecheng Zha

Ultra-Efficient Transonic Transports Using Flow Control   

United Technologies Aerospace Systems – Engine and Environmental Control Systems Gregory Zink

Area of research interest – Fuel injectors, sprays and atomization, droplet analysis (PIV/PDPA), combustion modeling and testing, low emissions combustion systems, multipoint combustion systems, biofuel combustion, additive manufacturing of metallic components


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