After only 7.5 years, I have completed my Ph.D. at the University
of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), in the Solid
Mechanics and Structures concentration of the Mechanical
Engineering Department. I have contributed to a Boeing
study on accelerated environmental aging effects on carbon fiber
composites. For this study, I designed and machined an open hole
compression (OHC) fixture that is much cheaper, smaller, and easier
to use than the one currently in practice.
For my Ph.D. dissertation, I worked with the FAA,
Design, and Boeing
on a study of the surface preparation of composite structural
aircraft parts for adhesive bonding.
also held a Summer internship at Boeing's composites prototyping
lab. In my lab at UCSB, with an autoclave, a huge freezer full
of material, and the appropriate tools at my disposal, I could
create a wide variety of composite components for my projects,
including combat robots.
In the Boeing aging study, I created a series of test panels and
then machined them down into specimens. In conjunction with UCLA,
I set up an elevated-temperature aging environment (an oven) and
a temperature-recording system. The samples were aged up to 5000
hours, and then I compressed them to failure. Our department's
mechanical test lab did not have machines with hydraulic grips
large enough to hold the recommended OHC fixture, so I designed
and machined a new one and proved that it produced test results
equivalent to the more expensive, bulkier fixture. An added bonus
of the smaller fixture is much smaller test specimens, allowing
testers to either save money by making smaller samples or to cut
out more specimens from their existing panels to obtain more data
was on an FAA grant to study adhesively bonded joints of composite
panels in General Aviation and commercial aircraft. Manufacturers
Lancair and Cirrus Air sell small 1-4 passenger planes and kit
planes that are made almost entirely out of composite materials
and almost entirely held together by adhesive bonds. I determined
the effects of different surface preparation methods on bond durability,
as well as a reliable method eans of destructively testing and
evaluating bonded joints. This research included the design &
fabrication of a composite bonding jig, to algn & press bonding
panels, and to align the hinge fixtures used for testing.
my Boeing internship in the composites prototype lab, I had the
opportunity to work with some very exotic materials. Boeing was
reinforcing their carbon fiber wing structures by stitching kevlar
thread through the components, giving them great damage tolerance.
performed much of my research development using UCSB's autoclave,
material donated from aerospace companies, and the department's
machine shop. I had the ability to make all sorts of parts and
panels out of carbon fiber, graphite, fiberglass, etc. I used
these materials extensively on the Missing
Link, Dr. Inferno,
Inferno Jr., Mini
Inferno, and Hell
on Wheels. With the amazing strength/weight and stiffness/weight
ratios that composites provide over typical metals, I could devote
more of a bot's weight allowance to drivetrain and weapons components.
DETAILS : Read
more my about my research projects.
Shop facilities and research work from UCSB
Mechanical & Environmental Engineering. Research grants
provided by Boeing
and the FAA.