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When the power goes out in our homes, many people only have the option of waiting until it comes back on.


s we begin living in a world where drones are used for everything from delivering packages to monitoring the health of a remote forested area, there needs to be a way to ensure that drones, regardless of whether they can access a signal, can find their way.


To be built with the support of Millennium Engineering, this 1,200-square-foot, walled-in area will allow Sanyal to test different scenarios. Rather than programming a route for the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Sanyal and his team will provide them with waypoints to reach and program the vehicles to autonomously navigate around obstacles and avoid collisions to a destination using only onboard sensors. The facility will be large enough to test single UAVs, teams of UAVs, and possibly even unmanned ground vehicles that communicate with UAVs.

Hamid Dalir Associate Professor Ph.D. Tokyo Institute of Technology

Michael Roppo Assistant Professor of Practice Ph.D. Northwestern University

Amit K. Sanyal Associate Professor Ph.D. University of Michigan

Research focus: Aircraft structural design, multi-disciplinary design optimization, development of aerospace design tools, structural analysis, and composite and nanotechnology in aerospace.

Research focus: Fluid flow stability, free surface flows, asymptotics and bifurcation of flows, numerical optimal control, and robotics.

Research focus: Nonlinear dynamics, geometric control, nonlinear estimation, geometric mechanics, aerospace control, and mobile robots.

In the Combustion and Energy Research (COMER) lab, Professor Jeongmin Ahn and his graduate students are developing just such a solution. By working to integrate flame-assisted fuel cells (FFCs) into fuel-fired furnaces or boilers already present in many homes, they aim to transform home furnaces into FFC combined heating and micro power systems. In their lab, Ahn’s team is integrating FFCs with furnace burners in a modified setup to allow staged combustion. They are analyzing the fuel cell’s performance and its ability to undergo extensive thermal cycling. In addition, they will complete a market analysis and economic assessment of applications for the technology.


24 507 # of Faculty

ut what if we were able to transform existing home heating systems into micro power systems that generate both heat and electricity? Such a technology could have benefits that extend beyond emergency situations. It would keep the lights on during power outages, while simultaneously offsetting up to 20 percent of residential electrical power loads.

Professor Amit Sanyal is exploring how drones can operate in GPS-denied environments and under real-life conditions such as wind and rain. And, he will have an exciting new facility at the Syracuse Center of Excellence to complete his research.


# of Undergraduate Students

67 43

# of Master’s Students

# of Ph.D. Students

Aerodynamics and Propulsion

Design and Optimization

Energy Conversion and Heat Transfer

Energy Efficiency and Environmental Systems

Energy Sources, Conversion, and Conservation

Manufacturing and Engineering Systems

Fluid Mechanics

Smart Materials for Health Care

Solid Mechanics and Materials

Degrees Awarded May 2014–2015

102 Undergraduate

112 Graduate

Their research, funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, will ultimately provide resilience to the heating and power infrastructure of current buildings.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT Erika Rodriguez, G’08, G’12 Erika Rodriguez, a two-time alumna of the College, is researching and characterizing thermal protection systems material performance during re-entry at NASA’s Ames Research Center. She attended the Orion EFT-1 launch at Kennedy Space Center and had the task of extracting material from the heat shield flown on the Orion to study its material response post-flight. “The incredible network and support I had during my five years at Syracuse University’s College of Mechanical and Aerospace


Engineering were invaluable. I gained lifetime mentors that have coached me to excel in my professional career at NASA Ames. My academic career at Syracuse University laid the foundation for my understanding of material science and helped me to develop extensive knowledge and experience in research and development of novel materials for practical applications.”

Roger Schmidt Traugott Distinguished Professor Ph.D. University of Minnesota

Teng Zhang Assistant Professor Ph.D. Brown University

National Academy of Engineering Member Research focus: Green data centers, energy sources, conversion, and conservation.

Research focus: Solid mechanics, mechanics and multi-physics of soft materials, nano-mechanics, and bio-inspired design.

The addition of five new faculty members in the past year has expanded our department’s course offerings and expertise in aerodynamics and propulsion, solid and fluid dynamics, and sustainable technology.



Riley Gourde ’16

Professor Melissa Green A childhood interest in marine biology coupled with an introduction to fluid mechanics during graduate school led Professor Melissa Green to devote her research to experimental fluid dynamics. She has a fascination with biologically inspired fluid problems, such as fish propelling themselves through water. In fact, her research contributes to an Office of Naval Research program that aims to create underwater vessels that mimic, and even improve upon, the movement of underwater wildlife.

In this and other applications, including the dynamics of flame propagating through turbulent flow, Green explores the organization of fluid motion in coherent structures and tries to understand fluid phenomena by characterizing the behavior of these structures. To do this, she uses an approach called Lagrangian coherent structures. Green applies this method to both experimental data from a simple flapping panel experiment and large-scale simulation of turbulent reacting flow.

Riley Gourde is still putting the final touches on his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, but he’s already applying his knowledge to improve sustainability for the manufacturing industry in New York State. Since his junior year he has been an energy analyst for the Syracuse University Industrial Assessment Center. Gourde and his teammates conduct energy audits in manufacturing facilities to decrease their energy usage and increase their efficiency. “I have had a rewarding educational experience at SU. Working at the IAC has helped me improve skills such as time management

and creative problem solving which have helped me excel in my program,“ says Gourde. In addition, he attributes his academic success to his work ethic and the strong relationships he has formed with faculty and peers in the IAC. One such connection has led to Gourde continuing his education at SU this fall, where he will pursue a master’s degree in energy systems engineering under the tutelage of Professor H. Ezzat Khalifa.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering  

Syracuse Engineer

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