In my teaching I bring fluid and aerodynamics experiments, including wind tunnels, into the classroom each day. Fundamental concepts are demonstrated in these experiments, and collected data is immediately compared to the theory and equations learned during lecture. Students see that they can use what they are learning in class to predict the behavior of aerospace systems. They then go on to design improved systems in MQP projects and during their careers.
My research group (including graduate and undergraduate project students) works on emerging renewable energy technologies including airborne energy systems and tethered underwater kites. Here, large tethered kites or gliders (in air or water) are used to extract energy from the wind or ocean currents. We conduct physical experiments and develop computer simulations to better design these systems. Recently we have developed a low-cost, kite-powered water pump for future use in underdeveloped nations.