I earned my PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in May 2004. This followed both a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of Science that were earned in 1999 and 2000 respectively.
During my undergraduate work I also worked in the aircraft maintenance-engineering group for Delta Air Lines. This work lent a valuable insight into the direct relationship between design and engineering choices and aircraft operability. It also provided me with an appreciation of complexity of running a large service providing organization such as an airline. These experiences have proved invaluable in my later work.
For my PhD research I focused on the development of methods to rapidly determine the availability of different solutions across a broad range of measures of merit and requirements. It is from this work that my current focus on developing a systematic value based approach to determining the suitability and viability of different systems arose. This coupled with my work with commercial engine manufacturers and, more recently, regulatory agencies has driven my ongoing work into developing both simple and complex models for determining the ultimate value of a new system. These systems can be for either aerospace or other applications including new alternative and distributed energy systems. The ability to properly evaluate complex systems is becoming even more critical as our environmental challenges increase.
As a result of my research activities I have also taken a leading role in the development of Value Driven Design methodologies through my co-chairmanship of the AIAA Value Driven Design Program Committee. The committee is currently working on developing a proposal for a standardized taxonomy as well as continued education of industry and government practitioners.
More recently I have been involved in the investigation of both aircraft and engine technologies and alternative fuels with the goal of reducing the climate impact of aviation. This work has been in coordination with the US Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), IATA, and the US Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI). These initiatives are designed to stimulate the development and adoption of advanced technologies and fuels by providing a consistent means of measuring their benefits.
Outside of work I enjoy a range of activities including hiking, camping, canoeing, rafting, downhill skiing, snowshoeing and occasionally scuba diving.